The Anillin fusion protein of the invention is located in the nucleus during G1-, S- and G2-phase, in the cytoplasm and cell cortex in early M-Phase, in the contractile ring during cytokinesis and in the midbody just before absission, making it possible to distinguish between different phases. At the end of mitosis the fusion protein gets degraded by the proteasome. Therefore, cells arrested in G0 do not show any fluorescence.
The invention enables scientists to identify, isolate and characterize proliferating cells out of a composition of proliferating, differentiated and post-mitotic cells. Furthermore, it enables to distinguish between cell division and variations of the cell cycle such as acytokinetic mitosis and endoreplication that cause false positives in standard proliferation assays.
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Stable transfected, pluripotent murine embryonic stem cells were generated. VisuVivo can aid to gain knowledge about mechanisms of cell proliferation, which could be useful for stem cell biology as well as regenerative medicine and others.