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Title: Small-molecule inducible transcriptional control in mammalian cells
Tools for tuning transcription in mammalian cells have broad applications, from basic biological discovery to human gene therapy. While precise control over target gene transcription via dosing with small molecules (drugs) is highly sought, the design of such inducible systems that meets required performance metrics poses a great challenge in mammalian cell synthetic biology. Important characteristics include tight and tunable gene expression with a low background, minimal drug toxicity, and orthogonality. Here, we review small-molecule-inducible transcriptional control devices that have demonstrated success in mammalian cells and mouse models. Most of these systems employ natural or designed ligand-binding protein domains to directly or indirectly communicate with transcription machinery at a target sequence, via carefully constructed fusions. Example fusions include those to transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs), DNA-targeting proteins (e.g. dCas systems) fused to transactivating domains, and recombinases. Similar to the architecture of Type I nuclear receptors, many of the systems are designed such that the transcriptional controller is excluded from the nucleus in the absence of an inducer. Techniques that use ligand-induced proteolysis and antibody-based chemically induced dimerizers are also described. Collectively, these transcriptional control devices take advantage of a variety of recently developed molecular biology tools and cell biology insights and represent both proof of concept (e.g. targeting reporter gene expression) and disease-targeting studies.  more » « less
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Critical Reviews in Biotechnology
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1 to 20
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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