Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 697–711 | Cite as

Controlled Expression of Recombinant Proteins in Physcomitrella patens by a Conditional Heat-shock Promoter: a Tool for Plant Research and Biotechnology

  • Younousse Saidi
  • Andrija Finka
  • Mickhail Chakhporanian
  • Jean-Pierre Zrÿd
  • Didier G. Schaefer
  • Pierre GoloubinoffEmail author


The ability to express tightly controlled amounts of endogenous and recombinant proteins in plant cells is an essential tool for research and biotechnology. Here, the inducibility of the soybean heat-shock Gmhsp17.3B promoter was addressed in the moss Physcomitrella patens, using β-glucuronidase (GUS) and an F-actin marker (GFP-talin) as reporter proteins. In stably transformed moss lines, Gmhsp17.3B-driven GUS expression was extremely low at 25 °C. In contrast, a short non-damaging heat-treatment at 38 °C rapidly induced reporter expression over three orders of magnitude, enabling GUS accumulation and the labelling of F-actin cytoskeleton in all cell types and tissues. Induction levels were tightly proportional to the temperature and duration of the heat treatment, allowing fine-tuning of protein expression. Repeated heating/cooling cycles led to the massive GUS accumulation, up to 2.3% of the total soluble proteins. The anti-inflammatory drug acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) and the membrane-fluidiser benzyl alcohol (BA) also induced GUS expression at 25 °C, allowing the production of recombinant proteins without heat-treatment. The Gmhsp17.3B promoter thus provides a reliable versatile conditional promoter for the controlled expression of recombinant proteins in the moss P. patens.


acetyl salicylic acid actin cytoskeleton benzyl alcohol GFP-talin β-glucuronidase Gmhsp17.3B promoter inducible gene-expression system 



acetyl salicylic acid


benzyl alcohol


green fluorescent protein






the maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII






photosystem II


specific activity


small heat-shock protein


total soluble proteins






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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Younousse Saidi
    • 1
  • Andrija Finka
    • 1
  • Mickhail Chakhporanian
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Zrÿd
    • 1
  • Didier G. Schaefer
    • 1
  • Pierre Goloubinoff
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Plant Molecular BiologyLausanne UniversityLausanneSwitzerland

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