To identify the underlying reason for the controversial performance of tetracycline (Tet)-controlled regulated gene expression in mammalian neurons, we investigated each of the three components that comprise the Tet inducible systems, namely tetracyclines as inducers, tetracycline-transactivator (tTA) and reverse tTA (rtTA), and tTA-responsive promoters (Ptets). We have discovered that stably integrated Ptet becomes functionally silenced in the majority of neurons when it is inactive during development. Ptet silencing can be avoided when it is either not integrated in the genome or stably-integrated with basal activity. Moreover, long-term, high transactivator levels in neurons can often overcome integration-induced Ptet gene silencing, possibly by inducing promoter accessibility. © 2007 Zhu et al.
Zhu, P., Aller, M. I., Baron, U., Cambridge, S., Bausen, M., Herb, J., … Hasan, M. T. (2007). Silencing and Un-silencing of Tetracycline-Controlled Genes in Neurons. PLoS ONE, 2(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000533