Neuronal expression and cell-type-specific gene-silencing of best1 in thalamic reticular nucleus neurons using psico-red system

Jae Young Jung, Seung Eun Lee, Eun Mi Hwang, C. Justin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Assessing the cell-type expression pattern of a certain gene can be achieved by using cell-type-specific gene manipulation. Recently, cre-recombinase-dependent gene-silencing tool, pSico has become popular in neuroscientific research. However, pSico has a critical limitation that gene-silenced cell cannot be identified by fluorescence, due to an excision of the reporter gene for green fluorescence protein (GFP). To overcome this limitation, we newly developed pSico-Red, with mCherry gene as a reporter outside two loxP sites, so that red mCherry signal is detected in all transfected cells. When a cell expresses cre, GFP is excised and shRNA is enabled, resulting in disappearance of GFP. This feature of pSico-Red provides not only cell-type-specific gene-silencing but also identification of cre expressing cells. Using this system, we demonstrated for the first time the neuronal expression of the Bestrophin-1 (Best1) in thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) and TRN-neuron-specific gene-silencing of Best1. We combined adenoassociated virus (AAV) carrying Best1-shRNA in pSico-Red vector and transgenic mouse expressing cre under the promoter of distal-less homeobox 5/6 (DLX5/6), a marker for inhibitory neurons. Firstly, we found that almost all of inhibitory neurons in TRN express Best1 by immunohistochemistry. Using pSico-Red virus, we found that 80% of infected TRN neurons were DLX5/6-cre positive but parvalbumin negative. Finally, we found that Best1 in DLX5/6-cre positive neurons were significantly reduced by Best1- shRNA. Our study demonstrates that TRN neurons strongly express Best1 and that pSico-Red is a valuable tool for cell-type-specific gene manipulation and identification of specific cell population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Neurobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


  • Bestrophin-1
  • DLX-cre
  • PSico
  • Parvalbumin
  • Thalamic reticular nucleus
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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