Editor's Pick: New Insight on Limitations of a Widely Used Genetic Tool For Sensory Neurons

Advillin is an actin-associated protein that is robustly expressed in sensory neurons, and a number of mouse lines have been generated and analysed based on the premise that advillin is exclusively expressed in sensory neurons. The authors now provide a comprehensive developmental and anatomical analysis of advillin expression and show that although expression is indeed sensory neuron specific early in mouse development, at later stages (from postnatal day 4 onwards) advillin is also expressed throughout the adult autonomic and enteric nervous systems, the habenula, and endocrine cells of the skin and gut. This careful and rigorous work suggests that caution is required when interpreting the specificity of results obtained by using the advillin promoter for transgenesis or genomic editing.

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Advillin is expressed in all adult neural crest-derived neurons
Diana V. Hunter, Brittney D. Smaila, Douglas M. Lopes, Jun Takatoh, Franziska Denk, and Matt S. Ramer

Category: Editor's Pick
Tags: Neuroscience Research, Sensory and Motor Systems