Open Access

Amplifying the signal

  • Jonathan B Weitzman
Genome Biology20012:spotlight-20011210-01

DOI: 10.1186/gb-spotlight-20011210-01

Published: 10 December 2001

Non-invasive imaging of reporter gene expression offers a powerful tool for monitoring spatial and temporal expression in live animals (or people). One limitation of such techniques is the low expression of genes driven by tissue-specific promoters. In the December 4 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Iyer et al. describe using a two-step transcriptional amplification (TSTA) approach to amplify the signal for non-invasive detection (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:14595-14600). They designed a system in which the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) promoter drives the expression of GAL4-VP16 fusion proteins with strong transactivating properties. In the second step, GAL4-VP16 controls the expression of a marker gene, such as firefly luciferase, placed downstream of GAL4-response elements. They tested the system in LNCaP prostate cancer cells and could demonstrate tissue-specific, androgen-responsive marker gene regulation. Iyer et al. also showed that the system could be used to detect luciferase expression in vivo.

References

  1. Monitoring gene therapy with reporter gene imaging.
  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, [http://www.pnas.org]
  3. Gene therapy: designer promoters for tumour targeting.

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2001

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