Lentivirus-mediated Conditional Gene Expression.

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Bio Protoc


washington; seattle; isb


The ability to identify the role of a particular gene within a system is dependent on control of the expression of that gene. In this protocol, we describe a method for stable, conditional expression of Nod-Like receptors (NLRs) in THP-1 cells using a lentiviral expression system. This system combines all the necessary components for tetracycline-inducible gene expression in a single lentivector with constitutive co-expression of a selection marker, which is an efficient means for controlling gene expression using a single viral infection of cells. This is done in a third generation lentiviral expression platform that improves the safety of lentiviruses and allows for greater gene expression than previous lentiviral platforms. The lentiviral expression plasmid is first engineered to contain the gene of interest driven by a TRE (tetracycline response element) promoter in a simple gateway cloning step and is then co-transfected into HEK293T cells, along with packaging and envelope plasmids to generate the virus. The virus is used to infect a cell type of interest at a low MOI so that the majority of the transduced cells contain a single viral integration. Infected cells are grown under selection, and viral integration is validated by qPCR. Gene expression in stably transduced cells is induced with doxycycline and validated by qPCR, immunoblot, and flow cytometry. This flexible lentiviral expression platform may be used for stable and robust induction of a gene of interest in a range of cells for multiple applications. Graphic abstract: Schematic overview of lentiviral transduction of THP-1 cells.


Institute for Systems Biology