Use of the Tetracycline-controlled Transcriptional Silencer (tTS) to Eliminate Transgene Leak in Inducible Overexpression Transgenic Mice

Zhou Zhu, Bing Ma, Robert J. Homer, Tao Zheng, Jack A. Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The doxycycline-inducible reverse tetracycline transactivator (rtTA) is frequently used to overexpress transgenes in a temporally regulated fashion in vivo. These systems are, however, often limited by the levels of transgene expression in the absence of dox administration. The tetracycline-controlled transcriptional silencer (tTS), a fusion protein containing the tet repressor and the KRAB-AB domain of the kid-1 transcriptional repressor, is inhibited by doxycycline. We hypothesized that tTS would tighten control of transgene expression in rtTA-based systems. To test this hypothesis we generated mice in which the CC10 promoter targeted tTS to the lung, bred these mice with CC10-rtTA-interleukin 13 (IL-13) mice in which IL-13 was overexpressed in an inducible lung-specific fashion, and compared the IL-13 production and phenotypes of parental mice and the triple transgenic CC10-rtTA/tTS-IL-13 progeny of these crosses. In the CC10-rtTA-IL-13 mice, IL-13, mucus metaplasia, inflammation, alveolar enlargement, and enhanced lung volumes were noted at base line and increased greatly after doxycycline administration. In the triple transgenic tTS animals, IL-13 and the IL-13-induced phenotype could not be appreciated without doxycycline. In contrast, tTS did not alter the induction of IL-13 or the generation of the IL-13 phenotype by doxycycline. Thus, tTS effectively eliminated the baseline leak without altering the inducibility of rtTA-regulated transgenes in vivo. Optimal "off/on" regulation of transgene expression can be accomplished with the combined use of tTS and rtTA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25222-25229
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume276
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 6 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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