Improving the stability of the TetR/Pip-OFF mycobacterial repressible promoter system.
ABSTRACT: Tightly regulated gene expression systems are powerful tools to study essential genes and characterize potential drug targets. In a past work we reported the construction of a very stringent and versatile repressible promoter system for Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on two different repressors (TetR/Pip-OFF system). This system, causing the repression of the target gene in response to anhydrotetracycline (ATc), has been successfully used in several laboratories to characterize essential genes in different mycobacterial species both in vitro and in vivo. One of the limits of this system was its instability, leading to the selection of mutants in which the expression of the target gene was no longer repressible. In this paper we demonstrated that the instability was mainly due either to the loss of the integrative plasmid carrying the genes encoding the two repressors, or to the selection of a frameshift mutation in the gene encoding the repressors Pip. To solve these problems, we (i) constructed a new integrative vector in which the gene encoding the integrase was deleted to increase its stability, and (ii) developed a new integrative vector carrying the gene encoding Pip to introduce a second copy of this gene in the chromosome. The use of these new tools was shown to reduce drastically the selection of escape mutants.
Project description:Tightly regulated gene expression systems represent invaluable tools for studying gene function and for the validation of drug targets in bacteria. While several regulated bacterial promoters have been characterized, few of them have been successfully used in mycobacteria. In this article we describe the development of a novel repressible promoter system effective in both fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria based on two chromosomally encoded repressors, dependent on tetracycline (TetR) and pristinamycin (Pip), respectively. This uniqueness results in high versatility and stringency. Using this method we were able to obtain an ftsZ conditional mutant in Mycobacterium smegmatis and a fadD32 conditional mutant in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, confirming their essentiality for bacterial growth in vitro. This repressible promoter system could also be exploited to regulate gene expression during M. tuberculosis intracellular growth.
Project description:Trichoderma reesei is the main producer of lignocellulolytic enzymes that are required for plant biomass hydrolysis in the biorefinery industry. Although the molecular toolbox for T. reesei is already well developed, repressible promoters for strain engineering and functional genomics studies are still lacking. One such promoter that is widely employed for yeasts is that of the L-methionine repressible MET3 gene, encoding ATP sulphurylase.We show that the MET3 system can only be applied for T. reesei when the cellulase inducing carbon source lactose is used but not when wheat straw, a relevant lignocellulosic substrate for enzyme production, is employed. We therefore performed a transcriptomic screen for genes that are L-methionine repressible in a wheat straw culture. This analysis retrieved 50 differentially regulated genes of which 33 were downregulated. Among these, genes encoding transport proteins as well as iron containing DszA like monooxygenases and TauD like dioxygenases were strongly overrepresented. We show that the promoter region of one of these dioxygenases can be used for the strongly repressible expression of the Aspergillus niger sucA encoded extracellular invertase in T. reesei wheat straw cultures. This system is also portable to other carbon sources including D-glucose and glycerol as demonstrated by the repressible expression of the Escherichia coli lacZ encoded ß-galactosidase in T. reesei.We describe a novel, versatile set of promoters for T. reesei that can be used to drive recombinant gene expression in wheat straw cultures at different expression strengths and in an L-methionine repressible manner. The dioxygenase promoter that we studied in detail is furthermore compatible with different carbon sources and therefore applicable for manipulating protein production as well as functional genomics with T. reesei.
Project description:Pigmented (Pgm+) cells of Yersinia pestis are virulent, are sensitive to pesticin, adsorb exogenous hemin at 26 degrees C (Hms+), produce iron-repressible outer membrane proteins, and grow at 37 degrees C in iron-deficient media. These traits are lost upon spontaneous deletion of a chromosomal 102-kb pgm locus (Pgm-). Here we demonstrate that an Hms+ but pesticin-resistant (Pst(r)) mutant acquired a 5-bp deletion in the pesticin receptor gene (psn) encoding IrpB to IrpD. Growth and assimilation of iron by Pgm- and Hms+ Pst(r) mutants were markedly inhibited by ferrous chelators at 37 degrees C; inhibition by ferric and ferrous chelators was less effective at 26 degrees C. Iron-deficient growth at 26 degrees C induced iron-regulated outer membrane proteins of 34, 28.5, and 22.5 kDa and periplasmic polypeptides of 33.5 and 30 kDa. These findings provide a basis for understanding the psn-driven system of iron uptake, indicate the existence of at least one additional 26 degrees C-dependent iron assimilation system, and define over 30 iron-repressible proteins in Y. pestis.
Project description:A range of regulated gene expression systems has been developed for mycobacteria in the last few years to facilitate the study of essential genes, validate novel drug targets and evaluate their vulnerability. Among these, the TetR/Pip-OFF repressible promoter system was successfully used in several mycobacterial species both in vitro and in vivo. In the first version of the system, the repressible promoter was Pptr , a strong Pip-repressible promoter of Streptomyces pristinaespiralis, which might hamper effective downregulation of genes with a low basal expression level. Here, we report an enhanced system that allows more effective control of genes expressed at low level. To this end, we subjected Pptr to targeted mutagenesis and produced 16 different promoters with different strength. Three of them, weaker than the wild-type promoter, were selected and characterized showing that they can indeed improve the performances of TetR/Pip-OFF repressible system both in vitro and in vivo increasing its stringency. Finally, we used these promoters to construct a series of bacterial biosensors with different sensitivity to DprE1 inhibitors and developed a whole-cell screening assay to identify inhibitors of this enzyme.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Repressible promoters are a useful tool for down-regulating the expression of genes, especially those that affect cell viability, in order to study cell physiology. They are also popular in biotechnological processes, like heterologous protein production. RESULTS: Here we present five novel repressible Pichia pastoris promoters of different strength: PSER1, PMET3, PTHR1, PPIS1 and PTHI11. eGFP was expressed under the control of each of these promoters and its fluorescence could be successfully decreased in liquid culture by adding different supplements. We also expressed the essential genes with different native promoter strength, ERO1 and PDI1, under the control of two of the novel promoters. In our experiments, a clear down-regulation of both repressible promoters on transcriptional level could be achieved. Compared to the transcript levels of these two genes when expressed under the control of their native promoters, only ERO1 was significantly down-regulated. CONCLUSION: Our results show that all of the novel promoters can be used for repression of genes in liquid culture. We also came to the conclusion that the choice of the repressible promoter is of particular importance. For a successful repression experiment it is crucial that the native promoter of a gene and the repressible promoter in its non-repressed state are of similar strength.
Project description:We describe a new repressible binary expression system based on the regulatory genes from the Neurospora qa gene cluster. This "Q system" offers attractive features for transgene expression in Drosophila and mammalian cells: low basal expression in the absence of the transcriptional activator QF, high QF-induced expression, and QF repression by its repressor QS. Additionally, feeding flies quinic acid can relieve QS repression. The Q system offers many applications, including (1) intersectional "logic gates" with the GAL4 system for manipulating transgene expression patterns, (2) GAL4-independent MARCM analysis, and (3) coupled MARCM analysis to independently visualize and genetically manipulate siblings from any cell division. We demonstrate the utility of the Q system in determining cell division patterns of a neuronal lineage and gene function in cell growth and proliferation, and in dissecting neurons responsible for olfactory attraction. The Q system can be expanded to other uses in Drosophila and to any organism conducive to transgenesis.
Project description:Engineered gene circuits offer an opportunity to harness biological systems for biotechnological and biomedical applications. However, reliance on native host promoters for the construction of circuit elements, such as logic gates, can make the implementation of predictable, independently functioning circuits difficult. In contrast, T7 promoters offer a simple orthogonal expression system for use in a variety of cellular backgrounds and even in cell-free systems. Here we develop a T7 promoter system that can be regulated by two different transcriptional repressors for the construction of a logic gate that functions in cells and in cell-free systems. We first present LacI repressible T7lacO promoters that are regulated from a distal lac operator site for repression. We next explore the positioning of a tet operator site within the T7lacO framework to create T7 promoters that respond to tet and lac repressors and realize an IMPLIES gate. Finally, we demonstrate that these dual input sensitive promoters function in an E. coli cell-free protein expression system. Our results expand the utility of T7 promoters in cell based as well as cell-free synthetic biology applications.
Project description:Repressible knockdown approaches were investigated for transgenic sterilization in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Two primordial germ cell (PGC) marker genes, nanos and dead end, were targeted for knockdown, and an off-target gene, vasa, was monitored. Two potentially salt sensitive repressible promoters, zebrafish adenylosuccinate synthase 2 (ADSS) and zebrafish racemase (Rm), were each coupled with four knockdown strategies: ds-sh RNA targeting the 5' end (N1) or 3' end (N2) of channel catfish nanos, full-length cDNA sequence of channel catfish nanos for overexpression (cDNA) and ds-sh RNA targeting channel catfish dead end (DND). Each construct had an untreated group and treated group with sodium chloride as the repressor compound. Spawning rates of full-sibling P? fish exposed or not exposed to the constructs as treated and untreated embryos were 93% and 59%, respectively, indicating potential sterilization of fish and repression of the constructs. Although the mRNA expression data of PGC marker genes were inconsistent in P? fish, most F? individuals were able to downregulate the target genes in untreated groups and repress the knockdown process in treated groups. The results indicate that repressible transgenic sterilization is feasible for reproductive control of fish, but more data from F? or F? are needed for evaluation.
Project description:A protein depletion by promoter shutoff or protein destabilization is an important tool in investigation of functions of essential genes. Various approaches using different repressible promoters, inducible degrons, or their combinations were developed. While successful, the current techniques have a drawback in that they require fusion of a large degradation tag to the target protein and/or a change in growth conditions to repress the promoter. We describe efficient protein depletion using the combination of a metabolically inert tetracycline repressible promoter with tetracycline aptamer and constitutive target protein destabilization by means of ubiquitin fusion. The target protein does not require a tag, and its elimination is several fold faster compared with standard promoter shutoff systems. A depletion time of <40 min was sufficient to achieve a robust phenotype.
Project description:The unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae is a model organism for studying the basic biology of photosynthetic organisms. The C. merolae cell is composed of an extremely simple set of organelles. The genome is completely sequenced. Gene targeting and a heat-shock inducible gene expression system has been recently established. However, a conditional gene knockdown system has not been established, which is required for the examination of function of genes that are essential to cell viability and primary mutant defects. In the current study, we first evaluated the expression of a transgene from two chromosomal neutral loci located in the intergenic region between CMD184C and CMD185C, and a region upstream of the URA5.3 gene. There was no significant difference in expression between them and this result suggests that both may be used as neutral loci. We then designed an inducible and repressible gene expression by using promoters of nitrate-assimilation genes. The expression of nitrate-assimilation genes such as NR (nitrate reductase), NIR (nitrite reductase), and NRT (the nitrate/nitrite transporter) are reversibly regulated by their dependence on nitrogen sources. We constructed stable strains in which a cassette containing the NR, NIR, or NRT promoter and sfGFP gene was inserted in a region upstream of URA5.3 and examined the efficacy of the promoters. The NR, NIR, and NRT promoters were constitutively activated in the nitrate medium, whereas their activities were extremely low in presence of ammonium. The activation of each promoter was immediately inhibited within a period of 1 h by the addition of ammonium. Thus, a conditional knockdown system in C. merolae was successfully established. The activity varies among the promoters, and each is selectable according to the expression level of a target gene estimated by RNA-sequencing. This method is applicable to defects in genes of interest in photosynthetic organism.