Genetic reporter cell lines: tools for stem cell biology and drug discovery

Cameron P J Hunt, Bradley Watmuff, Brigham J Hartley, Colin W Pouton, John M Haynes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


Targeted genetic reporter cell lines are powerful tools for study of stem cell differentiation and developmental biology, allowing gene expression to be studied in real time. Here, we review a selection of fluorescent proteins and enzymes that can be used as reporter genes in the context of stem cell differentiation. Genetic reporter cells can be designed for quantification of gene expression, for example in screening campaigns, or to identify and isolate cells using non-destructive microscopic techniques or flow cytometry. Isolation of specific cell types using flow cytometry may allow investigators to re-plate the cells and study their subsequent development and maturation in vitro. The engineering of genetic reporter lines is particularly useful for identifying the influence of external factors and low molecular weight compounds on differentiation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). In this context, reporter lines can help optimize protocols for enrichment of specific cell lineages and neuronal subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNeural Stem Cell Assays
EditorsNavjot Kaur, Mohan C Vemuri
Place of PublicationHoboken NJ USA
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781118308295
ISBN (Print)9781118308257
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Fluorescent proteins
  • Genetic reporter cell lines
  • Neural differentiation

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