Strain Name:

STOCK Opn4tm1.1Yau/J

Stock Number:



In Progress

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Tau-lacZ targeting of the Opn4 (opsin 4 (melanopsin)) gene enables X-gal labeling of axons, cell bodies, and proximal dendrites of retinal ganglion cells that photoentrain light signals to the primary circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).


Strain Information

Type Mutant Stock; Targeted Mutation;
Additional information on Genetically Engineered and Mutant Mice.
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Specieslaboratory mouse
Donating Investigator King-Wai Yau,   Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Opn4 (opsin 4 (melanopsin)) encodes a G-protein coupled receptor/photopigment found in mammalian retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) that photoentrain light signals from the eyes through the retinohypothalamic tract to the primary circadian pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

In this Opn4 knockout mutation, most of exons 1-9 and the intervening sequence are replaced by tau-lacZ. Tau-lacZ codes for a protein composed of the β-galactosidase enzyme fused to a signal sequence from tau (an actin-associated protein), which allows the fusion protein to be preferentially transported down axons to presynaptic terminals. In retinas from heterozygous animals, β-galactosidase and OPN4 immunoreactivities colocalize in ganglion cells. X-gal staining of β-galactosidase activity marks axons, cell bodies, and proximal dendrites are labeled.

Deletion of activity in homozygotes eliminates the intrinsic photosensitivity of retinal ganglion cells originally expressing melanopsin, leading to defects in various non-image-forming visual functions such as pupillary light reflex and circadian photoentrainment. The homozygotes are viable and fertile.

Tau-lacZ and a loxP-flanked pgk-neomycin cassette replace fragments of exons 1 and 9 and the intervening sequence. The mutation was created in 129.1 embryonic stem (ES) cells. Resulting chimeric animals were bred with C57BL/6 mice. The neomycin cassette has been excised. This strain was maintained on a unknown, mixed genetic background by the donating lab.


Phenotype Information

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Mammalian Phenotype Terms provided by MGI
      assigned by genotype

The following phenotype information is associated with a similar, but not exact match to this JAX® Mice strain.


        involves: 129 * C57BL/6
  • normal phenotype
  • no abnormal phenotype detected   (MGI Ref ID J:101977)
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Research Applications
This mouse can be used to support research in many areas including:

Neurobiology Research
Circadian Rhythms
Receptor Defects
      G protein-coupled receptor

Research Tools
lacZ Expression
Neurobiology Research
Sensorineural Research

Genes & Alleles

Gene & Allele Information provided by MGI

Allele Symbol Opn4tm1.1Yau
Allele Name targeted mutation 1.1, King-Wai Yau
Allele Type Targeted (Null/Knockout, Reporter)
Strain of Origin129
Gene Symbol and Name Opn4, opsin 4 (melanopsin)
Chromosome 14
Gene Common Name(s) 1110007J02Rik; Gm533; MOP; RIKEN cDNA 1110007J02 gene; gene model 533, (NCBI);
Molecular Note Tau-lacZ and a loxP-flanked pgk-neomycin cassette replace fragments of exons 1 and 9 and the intervening sequence. Cre-mediated recombination removed the neomycin cassette. [MGI Ref ID J:101977] [MGI Ref ID J:81604]


Genotyping Information

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References provided by MGI

Selected Reference(s)

Hattar S; Liao HW; Takao M; Berson DM; Yau KW. 2002. Melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells: architecture, projections, and intrinsic photosensitivity. Science 295(5557):1065-70. [PubMed: 11834834]  [MGI Ref ID J:81604]

Additional References

Opn4tm1.1Yau related

Jagannath A; Butler R; Godinho SI; Couch Y; Brown LA; Vasudevan SR; Flanagan KC; Anthony D; Churchill GC; Wood MJ; Steiner G; Ebeling M; Hossbach M; Wettstein JG; Duffield GE; Gatti S; Hankins MW; Foster RG; Peirson SN. 2013. The CRTC1-SIK1 pathway regulates entrainment of the circadian clock. Cell 154(5):1100-11. [PubMed: 23993098]  [MGI Ref ID J:204540]

The Jackson Laboratory. 2005. Information obtained from The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME Unpublished :.  [MGI Ref ID J:101977]

Health & husbandry

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Colony Maintenance

Breeding & HusbandryHomozygotes and heterozygotes are viable and fertile.

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This strain is currently In Progress.

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The Jackson Laboratory has rigorous genetic quality control and mutant gene genotyping programs to ensure the genetic background of JAX® Mice strains as well as the genotypes of strains with identified molecular mutations. JAX® Mice strains are only made available to researchers after meeting our standards. However, the phenotype of each strain may not be fully characterized and/or captured in the strain data sheets. Therefore, we cannot guarantee a strain's phenotype will meet all expectations. To ensure that JAX® Mice will meet the needs of individual research projects or when requesting a strain that is new to your research, we suggest ordering and performing tests on a small number of mice to determine suitability for your particular project.
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