Several stably transfected F-9 or L-cell lines have been generated that can be used as reporter cells for the presence of RA when embryonic tissue is placed on top of them. The line produced by Wagner, et al. (39) contains a retinoic acid-response element (RARE) from the human P-retinoic acid receptor gene, which functions as an inducible enhancer that responds to the a, P, and y RAR subtypes. A single copy of this RARE was placed upstream of the Escherichia coli lacZ or firefly luciferase genes, conferring retinoid responsiveness to these genes. The lacZ gene is used for histochemical detection of retinoid responsive cells and quantitation by cell counting, and the luciferase gene is used to provide a direct quantitative assay. The inclusion of the NEOr gene permits the establishment of transfected cell lines that stably maintain the reporter gene constructs.
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