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STaR: Synaptic Tagging with Recombination

The STaR system can be used to specifically mark pre- or post-synaptic terminals using tagged brp or ort proteins, respectively.


Tagging presynaptic nerve termini

Tagged brp protein (tagged in the figure below with V5) is expressed following the removal of a FRT-flanked transcriptional stop cassette from a STaR construct. The FRT cassette can be removed in a specific subset of cells using either a cell-specific GAL4 with UAS-FLP or a cell-specific FLP construct. Tagged brp localizes to T-bars, cellular platforms for the assembly of presynaptic vesicles. Removal of the FRT cassette also results in the expression of LexA, which can activate fluor expression for visualizing the whole cell.

Figure of STaR presynaptic marking from Chen et al. (2013), Cell-type-Specific Labeling of Synapses In Vivo through Synaptic Tagging with Recombination. Neuron 81: 280293.

The stocks listed below also provide constructs for tagging brp with GFP and for catalyzing the removal of the stop cassette using R recombinase instead of FLP.


Tagging postsynaptic nerve termini

FLP recombinase can also be used to excise an FRT-flanked transcriptional stop cassette from another STaR construct to express the ort histamine-gated chloride channel, which is specific to postsynaptic termini, tagged with the OLLAS epitope.

Figure of STaR postsynaptic marking from Chen et al. (2013), Cell-type-Specific Labeling of Synapses In Vivo through Synaptic Tagging with Recombination. Neuron 81: 280293.


These methods were described in Chen et al. (2013). Cell-type-specific labeling of synapses in vivo through Synaptic Tagging with Recombination. Neuron 81: 280–293.

  Terminal Tagged Stk # Chr Expresses Genotype
1 Pre 55750 2 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette w[*]; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00018/CyO; TM2/TM6B
2 Pre 56142 2 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette; tdTomato under lexAop control w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=LexAop-tdTomato.Myr}su(Hw)attP5 PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00018/CyO; TM2/TM6B, Tb[1]
3 Pre 55749 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM2
4 Pre 55751 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette; FLP under UAS control w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO; P{w[+mC]=UAS-FLP.D}JD2, PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM6B, Tb[1]
5 Pre 56747 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette; membrane-targeted GFP under lexAop control w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033 P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=13XLexAop2-IVS-myr::GFP}attP2/TM2
6 Pre 55755 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of RSRT cassette w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(RSRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM6B, Tb[1]
7 Pre 55756 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of RSRT cassette; R recombinase under UAS control w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(RSRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033 P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=20XUAS-RSR.PEST}attP2/TM6B, Tb[1]
8 Pre 55757 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of RSRT cassette; tdTomato under LexAop control w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(RSRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033, P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=LexAop-tdTomato.Myr}su(Hw)attP2/TM6B, Tb[1]
9 Pre 55758 3 V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control (no FRT cassette removal necessary) w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp-FRT-V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM6B, Tb[1]
10 Pre 55753 3 GFP-tagged brp under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette. w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)GFP}VK00033
11 Pre 55754 3 GFP-tagged brp under brp control upon removal of FRT cassette; tdTomato under UAS control upon removal of FRT cassette w[*]; wg[Sp-1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)GFP}VK00033 P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=UAS(FRT.stop)tdTomato.Myr}su(Hw)attP2/TM6B, Tb[1]
12 Pre 56507 3 GFP-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control. w[*]; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(FRT.Stop)GFP-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM3, Sb[1]
13 Pre 55759 3 GFP-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control (no FRT cassette removal necessary) w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp-FRT-GFP-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM6B, Tb[1]
14 Pre 55760 3 GFP-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control (no RSRT cassette removal necessary) w[*]; Bl[1]/CyO, P{w[+mC]=GAL4-Kr.C}DC3, P{w[+mC]=UAS-GFP.S65T}DC7; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp-RSRT-V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033/TM6B, Tb[1]
15 Pre and Post 55764 2;3 OLLAS-tagged ort under ort control upon removal of FRT cassette; V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of RSRT cassette; R recombinase under UAS control w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=ort(FRT.SA.Stop)OLLAS}attP40; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(RSRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033 P{w[+mC]=20XUAS-RSR.PEST}attP2
16 Post 55761 2 OLLAS-tagged ort under ort control upon removal of FRT cassette w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=ort(FRT.SA.Stop)OLLAS}attP40/CyO; TM2/TM6B, Tb[1]
17 Post 55762 2;3 OLLAS-tagged ort under ort control upon removal of FRT cassette; FLP under UAS control w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=ort(FRT.SA.Stop)OLLAS}attP40; P{w[+mC]=UAS-FLP.D}JD2/TM6B, Tb[1]
18 Post 55763 2 OLLAS-tagged ort under ort control (no FRT cassette removal necessary). w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=ort-FRT-OLLAS}attP40/CyO; TM2/TM6B, Tb[1]
19 Pre and Post 55764 2;3 OLLAS-tagged ort under ort control upon removal of FRT cassette; V5-tagged brp and lexA.VP16 under brp control upon removal of RSRT cassette; R recombinase under UAS control w[*]; P{y[+t7.7] w[+mC]=ort(FRT.SA.Stop)OLLAS}attP40; PBac{y[+mDint2] w[+mC]=brp(RSRT.Stop)V5-2A-LexA-VP16}VK00033 P{w[+mC]=20XUAS-RSR.PEST}attP2