Rat synapsin 1 promoter mediated transgene expression in testicular cell types

K. A. Street, G. Xu, K. L. Hall, G. W. Intano, J. R. McCarrey, D. C. Herbert, M. W. Kilimann, C. A. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Previous reports described the rat synapsin 1 promoter as primarily neuron selective. However, ectopic expression of a transgene under the rat synapsin 1 promoter was also detected in testis from some transgenic mouse lines. Here we investigate which cells within the testis express a transgene consisting of the rat synapsin 1 promoter fused with luciferase. Synapsin 1-luciferase expression vectors were introduced into HeLa cells, into TM3 cells derived from mouse testicular Leydig cells, and into one-cell embryos to make transgenic mice. Indirect immunofluorescence suggests that nontransfected TM3 cells do not express endogenous synapsin 1. TM3 stable transfectants, however, expressed luciferase under the direction of the synapsin 1 promoter, in both promoter orientations. HeLa cells displayed only low levels of activity. Transgenic mice carrying the synapsin 1-luciferase construct displayed high levels of luciferase activity in the brain, spinal cord, and testis. Enriched populations of prepuberal types A and B spermatogonia and adult Leydig cells, pachytene spermatocytes, and round spermatids prepared from transgenic mice all displayed substantial luciferase activity. Thus, the rat synapsin 1 promoter can mediate reporter gene expression in neurons and testicular cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalDNA and Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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