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Isolating specific embryonic cells of the sea urchin by FACS

, : Isolating specific embryonic cells of the sea urchin by FACS. Methods in Molecular Biology 1128: 187-196

Isolating cells based on specific gene expression enables a focused biochemical and molecular analysis. While cultured cells and hematopoietic cells, for example, are routinely isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), early embryonic cells are a relatively untapped source for FACS applications often because the embryos of many animals are quite limiting. Furthermore, many applications require genetic model organisms in which cells can be labeled by fluorescent transgenes, or antibodies against cell surface antigens. Here we define conditions in the sea urchin embryo for isolation of embryonic cells based on expression of specific proteins. We use the sea urchin embryo for which a nearly unlimited supply of embryonic cells is available and demonstrate the conditions for separation of the embryo into single cells, fixation of the cells for antibody penetration into the cells, and conditions for FACS of a rare cell type in the embryo. This protocol may be adapted for analysis of mRNA, chromatin, protein, or carbohydrates and depends only on the probe availability for the cell of interest. We anticipate that this protocol will be broadly applicable to embryos of other species.


PMID: 24567215

DOI: 10.1007/978-1-62703-974-1_12

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