Re-engineering an alphoid-HAC-based vector to enable high-throughput analyses of gene function

A.V. Kononenko, N.C.O. Lee, N. Kouprina, V. Larionov, W.C. Earnshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Human artificial chromosome (HAC)-based vectors represent an alternative technology for gene delivery and expression with a potential to overcome the problems caused by the use of viral-based vectors. The recently developed alphoid-HAC has an advantage over other HAC vectors because it can be easily eliminated from cells by inactivation of the HAC kinetochore via binding of tTS chromatin modifiers to its centromeric tetO sequences. This provides unique control for phenotypes induced by genes loaded into the alphoid-HAC. However, inactivation of the HAC kinetochore requires transfection of cells by a retrovirus vector, a step that is potentially mutagenic. Here, we describe an approach to re-engineering the alphoid-HAC that allows verification of phenotypic changes attributed to expression of genes from the HAC without a transfection step. In the new HAC vector, a tTS-EYFP cassette is inserted into a gene-loading site along with a gene of interest. Expression of the tTS generates a self-regulating fluctuating heterochromatin on the alphoid-HAC that induces fast silencing of the genes on the HAC without significant effects on HAC segregation. This silencing of the HAC-encoded genes can be readily recovered by adding doxycycline. The newly modified alphoid-HAC-based system has multiple applications in gene function studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere107
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


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