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Gene. 1999 Jan 21;226(2):243-51.

Integrational plasmids for the tetracycline-regulated expression of genes in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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Pharmaceutical Research Preclinical Infectious Diseases, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., 4070, Basel, Switzerland.


Plasmids for the tetracycline regulated gene expression in Streptococcus pneumoniae have been developed. The plasmids were used for the tetracycline-dependent production of firefly luciferase in streptococci. The production of luciferase can be induced fivefold by the addition of tetracycline. By using two promoters of different strength and depending on the presence or absence of tetracycline, an 80-fold range of luciferase activities can be covered. The system was also used to construct strains that depend on the addition of tetracycline for the production of the A subunit of DNA gyrase, an essential streptococcal protein. The growth of such a strain depends on the addition of tetracycline to the medium. In the absence of tetracycline, the cells cease to grow and are not viable. The system presented in this report should be useful for the characterization of gene networks in S. pneumoniae. It especially allows one to study the function of essential genes that can not be investigated by standard knock-out techniques.

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