My summer research project has two major components. Both components use a tetracycline-controlled transcriptional activation system, a system designed to control transgene expression. The system can be designed so that the addition of tetracycline turns on expression or turns off expression, giving the systems the names Tet-On and Tet-Off, respectively. In this experiment, I will be using the Tet-On system. In a Tet system, the tetracycline transactivator (tTA) must be bound to an operator sequence on the DNA in order for transcription to occur. In the case of Tet-On, the tTA is only able to bind to the operator when also bound to tetracycline or a tetracycline derivative such as doxycycline. The addition of the doxycycline allows transcription to begin, giving very tight temporal control.
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