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Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Feb 11;16(3):1043-61.

Characterization and use of the Drosophila metallothionein promoter in cultured Drosophila melanogaster cells.

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Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


The promoter from the metallothionein gene may be a useful conditional promoter for the construction of chimeric genes to be expressed in Drosophila cells in culture. To explore this possibility the responses of the endogenous metallothionein gene and an in vitro constructed chimeric gene containing the metallothionein promoter were examined. Copper and cadmium, when added to the growth medium of Drosophila Schneider's line 2 cells, can produce a 30-100 fold induction of metallothionein mRNA levels. The level of induction depends on the amount of copper or cadmium added to the medium and these mRNA levels remain high for at least four days. Copper is less toxic than cadmium and does not induce a typical heat-shock response in the cells. Finally, a chimeric gene containing the metallothionein promoter shows a similar induction when transformed into the cells.

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