Molecular imaging of nuclear factor-Y transcriptional activity maps proliferation sites in live animals

Frauke Goeman, Isabella Manni, Simona Artuso, Balaji Ramachandran, Gabriele Toietta, Gianluca Bossi, Gianpaolo Rando, Chiara Cencioni, Sabrina Germoni, Stefania Straino, Maurizio C. Capogrossi, Silvia Bacchetti, Adriana Maggi, Ada Sacchi, Paolo Ciana, Giulia Piaggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo imaging involving the use of genetically engineered animals is an innovative powerful tool for the noninvasive assessment of the molecular and cellular events that are often targets of therapy. On the basis of the knowledge that the activity of the nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factor is restricted in vitro to proliferating cells, we have generated a transgenic reporter mouse, called MITO-Luc (for mitosis-luciferase), in which an NF-Y-dependent promoter controls luciferase expression. In these mice, bioluminescence imaging of NF-Y activity visualizes areas of physiological cell proliferation and regeneration during response to injury. Using this tool, we highlight for the first time a role of NF-Y activity on hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration. MITO-Luc reporter mice should facilitate investigations into the involvement of genes in cell proliferation and provide a useful model for studying aberrant proliferation in disease pathogenesis. They should be also useful in the development of new anti/proproliferative drugs and assessment of their efficacy and side effects on nontarget tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1467-1474
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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