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PLoS One. 2010 Aug 31;5(8):e12488. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012488.

Development of a chromosomally integrated metabolite-inducible Leu3p-alpha-IPM "off-on" gene switch.

Author information

  • 1Stem Cell Biology Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Biomedical Sciences Research Center "Alexander Fleming," Attica, Greece.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Present technology uses mostly chimeric proteins as regulators and hormones or antibiotics as signals to induce spatial and temporal gene expression.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Here, we show that a chromosomally integrated yeast 'Leu3p-alpha-IotaRhoMu' system constitutes a ligand-inducible regulatory "off-on" genetic switch with an extensively dynamic action area. We find that Leu3p acts as an active transcriptional repressor in the absence and as an activator in the presence of alpha-isopropylmalate (alpha-IotaRhoMu) in primary fibroblasts isolated from double transgenic mouse embryos bearing ubiquitously expressing Leu3p and a Leu3p regulated GFP reporter. In the absence of the branched amino acid biosynthetic pathway in animals, metabolically stable alpha-IPM presents an EC(50) equal to 0.8837 mM and fast "OFF-ON" kinetics (t(50)ON = 43 min, t(50)OFF = 2.18 h), it enters the cells via passive diffusion, while it is non-toxic to mammalian cells and to fertilized mouse eggs cultured ex vivo.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Our results demonstrate that the 'Leu3p-alpha-IotaRhoMu' constitutes a simpler and safer system for inducible gene expression in biomedical applications.

PMID:
20824215
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2930855
Free PMC Article

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