Mapping the chromosomal insertion site of the GFP transgene of UBC-GFP mice to the MHC locus

Academic Article


  • GFP is frequently used as a marker for tracking donor cells adoptively transplanted into recipient animals. The human ubiquitin C promoter (UBC)-driven-GFP transgenic mouse is a commonly used source of donor cells for this purpose. This mouse was initially generated in the C57BL/6 inbred strain and has been backcrossed into the BALB/cBy strain for over 11 generations. Both the C57BL/6 inbred and BALB/cBy congenic UBC-GFP lines are commercially available and have been widely distributed. These UBC-GFP lines can be a convenient resource for tracking donor cells in both syngenic MHC-matched and in allogenic MHCmismatched studies as C57BL/6 (H-2b) and BALB/cBy (H-2d) have disparate MHC haplotypes. In this report, we surprisingly discover that the UBC-GFP BALB/cBy congenic mice still retain the H-2b MHC haplotype of their original C57BL/6 founder, suggesting that the UBC-GFP transgene integration site is closely linked to the MHC locus on chromosome 17. Using linear amplification-mediated PCR, we successfully map the UBC-GFP transgene to the MHC locus. This study highlights the importance and urgency of mapping the transgene integration site of transgenic mouse strains used in biomedical research. Furthermore, this study raises the possibility of alternative interpretations of previous studies using congenic UBC-GFP mice and focuses attention on the necessity for rigor and reproducibility in scientific research.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Liu S; Lockhart JR; Fontenard S; Berlett M; Ryan TM
  • Start Page

  • 1982
  • End Page

  • 1987
  • Volume

  • 204
  • Issue

  • 7