A chimeric transactivator allows tetracycline-responsive gene expression in whole plants

Plant J. 1994 Apr;5(4):559-69. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1994.5040559.x.


The chimeric transcriptional activator tTA, a fusion between the Tn10 encoded Tet repressor and the activation domain of the Herpes simplex virion protein VP16, was stably expressed in transgenic tobacco plants. It stimulates transcription of the beta-glucuronidase (gus) gene from an artificial promoter consisting of 7 tet operators and a TATA-box. Tetracycline, which interferes with binding of tTA to operator DNA, reduces gus expression over several orders of magnitude. This stringency of regulation suggests that the system can be used to construct transgenic plants encoding a potentially lethal gene product. Furthermore, the specific and fast inactivation of tTA allows study of the stability of RNAs and proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiporters / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Chimera
  • DNA
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Glucuronidase / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • TATA Box
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology*
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Antiporters
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Viral Proteins
  • tetracycline resistance-encoding transposon repressor protein
  • DNA
  • Glucuronidase
  • Tetracycline