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1.  Streptogramin- and tetracycline-responsive dual regulated expression of p27Kip1 sense and antisense enables positive and negative growth control of Chinese hamster ovary cells 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(4):e19.
We constructed a dual regulated expression vector cassette (pDuoRex) whereby two heterologous genes can be independently regulated via streptogramin- and tetracycline-responsive promoters. Two different constructs containing growth-promoting and growth-inhibiting genes were stably transfected in recombinant Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells that express the streptogramin- and tetracycline-dependent transactivators in a dicistronic configuration. An optimally balanced heterologous growth control scenario was achieved by reciprocal expression of the growth-inhibiting human cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1 in sense (p27Kip1S) and antisense (p27Kip1AS) orientation. Exclusive expression of p27Kip1S resulted in complete G1-phase-specific growth arrest, while expression of only p27Kip1AS showed significantly increased proliferation compared to control cultures (both antibiotics present), presumably by decreasing host cell p27Kip1 expression. In a second system, a derivative of pDuoRex encoding streptogramin-responsive expression of the growth-promoting SV40 small T antigen (sT) and tetracycline-regulated expression of p27Kip1 was stably transfected into CHO cells. Expression of sT alone resulted in an increase in cell proliferation, but the expression of p27Kip1 failed to provide the expected G1-specific growth arrest despite having demonstrated expression of the protein. This illustrates the difficulty in balancing the complex pathways underlying cell proliferation control through the expression of two functionally distinct genes involved in those pathways, and how a single-gene sense/antisense approach using pDuoRex can overcome this barrier to complete metabolic engineering control.
PMCID: PMC29626  PMID: 11160939
2.  Regulated multicistronic expression technology for mammalian metabolic engineering 
Cytotechnology  1998;28(1-3):111-126.
Contemporary basic research is rapidly revealing increasingly complex molecular regulatory networks which are often interconnected via key signal integrators. These connections among regulatory and catalytic networks often frustrate bioengineers as promising metabolic engineering strategies are bypassed by compensatory metabolic responses or cause unexpected, undesired outcomes such as apoptosis, product protein degradation or inappropriate post- translational modification. Therefore, for metabolic engineering to achieve greater success in mammalian cell culture processes and to become important for future applications such as gene therapy and tissue engineering, this technology must be enhanced to allow simultaneous, in cases conditional, reshaping of metabolic pathways to access difficult-to-attain cell states. Recent advances in this new territory of multigene metabolic engineering are intimately linked to the development of multicistronic expression technology which allows the simultaneous, and in some cases, regulated expression of several genes in mammalian cells. Here we review recent achievements in multicistronic expression technology in view of multigene metabolic engineering.
PMCID: PMC3449837  PMID: 19003413
autoregulation; cell-cycle engineering; eukaryotic operon; IRES; multigene engineering; picornavirus; pTRIDENT; regulated expression
3.  pQuattro vectors allow one-step multigene metabolic engineering and auto-selection of quattrocistronic artificial mammalian operons 
Cytotechnology  1998;28(1-3):229-235.
Based on internal ribosomal entry sites (IRES) of picornaviral origin we constructed a novel family of mammalian expression vectors. pQuattro vectors contain quattrocistronic artificial eukaryotic operons which link, in a single transcript, the simultaneous and coordinated as well as adjustable expression of up to three independent genes of interest to a terminal neomycin (neo) resistance marker. Due to the strict genetic linkage of the transgenes and the terminal selection marker, this genetic configuration enables, by the selection on neomycin, multigene metabolic engineering of mammalian cells in a single step (one-step metabolic engineering). Furthermore, selection on the terminal cistron of multicistronic expression units enforces cocistronic expression of all upstream encoded genes and maximises genetic integrity of the eukaryotic operon in stable mammalian cell lines, since clones harbouring damaged multicistronic expression units become neomycin-sensitive and are automatically counterselected (auto-selection). The modular set-up and the abundance of restriction sites in pQuattro vectors facilitate the movement of individual genes between multicistronic expression vectors and guarantees high compatibility with genetic elements of a wide variety of existing mammalian expression vectors.
PMCID: PMC3449843  PMID: 19003423
CITE; EMCV; GFP; IRES; picornavirus

Results 1-3 (3)