The Lac repressor provides a reversible gene expression system in undifferentiated and differentiated embryonic stem cell
Control of mammalian gene promoters by the bacterial LacI repressor provides reversible regulation and dose-response levels of derepressed expression by the lactose analog isopropyl thiogalactose (IPTG). Here, we show that insertion of LacI-binding sites in the ubiquitous β-actin promoter confers a strong and dose-dependent IPTG-regulatable expression of transiently transfected reporter genes in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells expressing LacI. We established ES cell lines stably expressing reporter genes under inducible control and found a five- to tenfold IPTG induction of transgene expression. The kinetics of induction is rapid and stable, and can be rapidly reversed after IPTG removal. Importantly, this regulatable expression was maintained throughout the differentiation process of ES cells, and observed in individual differentiated cardiomyocyte-like cells and neuronal-like cells. This reversible system is the first to function from undifferentiated to individual welldifferentiated ES cells, providing a very useful tool to understand molecular mechanisms underlying ES cell self-renewal, commitment and differentiation.
Key words.Mouse embryonic stem cell LacI/IPTG reversible expression vector ubiquitous gene promoter neuron cardiomyocyte
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