Fbxo2 mouse and embryonic stem cell reporter lines delineate in vitro-generated inner ear sensory epithelia cells and enable otic lineage selection and Cre-recombination.

Published Date:



United States



ISO Abbreviation:

Dev. Biol.




While the mouse has been a productive model for inner ear studies, a lack of highly specific genes and tools has presented challenges. The absence of definitive otic lineage markers and tools is limiting in vitro studies of otic development, where innate cellular heterogeneity and disorganization increase the reliance on lineage-specific markers. To address this challenge in mice and embryonic stem (ES) cells, we targeted the lineage-specific otic gene Fbxo2 with a multicistronic reporter cassette (Venus/Hygro/CreER = VHC). In otic organoids derived from ES cells, Fbxo2 specifically delineates otic progenitors and inner ear sensory epithelia. In mice, Venus expression and CreER activity reveal a cochlear developmental gradient, label the prosensory lineage, show enrichment in a subset of type I vestibular hair cells, and expose strong expression in adult cerebellar granule cells. We provide a toolbox of multiple spectrally distinct reporter combinations for studies that require use of fluorescent reporters, hygromycin selection, and conditional Cre-mediated recombination.