MiMIC: a highly versatile transposon insertion resource for engineering Drosophila melanogaster genes

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We demonstrate the versatility of a collection of insertions of the transposon Minos-mediated integration cassette (MiMIC), in Drosophila melanogaster. MiMIC contains a gene-trap cassette and the yellow+ marker flanked by two inverted bacteriophage ΦC31 integrase attP sites. MiMIC integrates almost at random in the genome to create sites for DNA manipulation. The attP sites allow the replacement of the intervening sequence of the transposon with any other sequence through recombinase-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE). We can revert insertions that function as gene traps and cause mutant phenotypes to revert to wild type by RMCE and modify insertions to control GAL4 or QF overexpression systems or perform lineage analysis using the Flp recombinase system. Insertions in coding introns can be exchanged with protein-tag cassettes to create fusion proteins to follow protein expression and perform biochemical experiments. The applications of MiMIC vastly extend the D. melanogaster toolkit.

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Figure 1: The MiMIC transposon system.
Figure 2: Binary expression and lineage analysis with MiMIC insertions.
Figure 3: Protein trapping with MiMIC insertions.
Figure 4: Expression analyses of tagged proteins.


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We thank B. Al-Anzi (California Institute of Technology), K. Basler, J. Bischof (University of Zurich), J. Bateman (Bowdoin College), K. Broadie (Vanderbilt University), M. Calos, L. Luo, A. Okada (Stanford University), W. Chia (National University of Singapore), A. DiAntonio (Washington University), B. Durand, A. Laurençon (University of Lyon), F. Karch (University of Geneva), X. Morin (Institute of Developmental Biology of Marseille), A. Nose (University of Tokyo), S. Oehler (University of Crete), A. Pavlopoulos (University of Cambridge), C. Potter (Johns Hopkins University), Y. Rao (McGill University), M. Ringuette, J. Shahab (University of Toronto), C. Savakis (Biomedical Sciences Research Center Alexander Fleming), T. Suzuki (Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology), C. Tan (University of Missouri), G. Tear (King's College London), R. Tsien (University of California San Diego), T. Wu (Harvard University), L. Zipursky (University of California Los Angeles), members of the BDSC and the Drosophila Genomics Resource Center (Indiana University), Addgene and members of the Developmental Studies Hybridoma Bank for flies, plasmids, antibodies and communications; S. Park and K. Wan for assistance in mapping MiMIC insertions; D. Bei, Y. Fang, J. Li, Z. Wang, X. Zheng and J. Yue for generating fly stocks; and T. Suzuki for communication of unpublished results. This work was funded by US National Institutes of Health grants 2R01 GM067858 to A.C.S., R.A.H. and H.J.B., and T32 GM07526-33 to K.J.T.V.; A.C.S. and H.J.B. are funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Author information

K.J.T.V. designed the MiMIC technique and vectors, and performed all molecular biology, except for mapping of insertions. R.W.L., A.C.S., R.A.H. and H.J.B. conceived the application of MiMIC to the GDP. H.P. and Y.H. performed microinjections. K.J.T.V., H.P. and Y.H. performed fly genetics. M.E.-H. and R.A.H. mapped insertions. K.J.T.V., Y.H., M.E.-H., J.W.C., R.W.L. and R.A.H. analyzed insertion data, annotated insertions and prepared public database submissions. J.W.C. performed bioinformatic analysis. K.J.T.V., N.A.H. and H.P. verified RMCE events by PCR. K.J.T.V. and K.L.S. did staining of gene-trap events. K.L.S. and N.A.H. did staining of protein trap events. K.J.T.V., K.L.S., N.A.H. and H.J.B. analyzed expression patterns. K.J.T.V. and H.J.B. wrote the paper. R.A.H. and R.W.L. edited the paper.

Correspondence to Koen J T Venken or Hugo J Bellen.

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