2015 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 37-51
MafA and MafB are basic leucine zipper transcription factors expressed in mature pancreatic β- and α-cells, respectively. MafA is not only an insulin gene transcription factor but is also critical for the maturation and maintenance of β-cell function, whereas MafB is expressed in immature β-cells during development and in compromised β-cells in diabetes. In this study, we developed a mouse model to easily trace the promoter activity of MafA in β-cells as a tool for studying β-cell differentiation, maturation, regeneration and function using the expression of the fluorescent protein Kusabira Orange (KOr) driven by the BAC-mafA promoter. The expression of KOr was highly restricted to β-cells in the transgenic pancreas. By crossing MafA-KOr mice with MafBGFP/+ reporter mice, simultaneous monitoring of MafA and MafB expressions in the isolated islets was successfully performed. This system can be a useful tool for examining dynamic changes in the differentiation and function of pancreatic islets by visualizing the expressions of MafA and MafB.