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A fast and tuneable auxin-inducible degron for depletion of target proteins in budding yeast

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    Rights statement: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2018 The Authors. Yeast published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-81
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Early online date29 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


The auxin-inducible degron (AID) is a useful technique to rapidly deplete proteins of interest in non-plant eukaryotes. Depletion is achieved by addition of the plant hormone auxin to the cell culture, which allows the auxin-binding receptor, TIR1, to target the AID-tagged protein for degradation by the proteasome. Fast depletion of the target protein requires good expression of TIR1 protein but, as we show here, high levels of TIR1 may cause uncontrolled depletion of the target protein in the absence of auxin. To enable conditional expression of TIR1 to a high level when required we regulated the expression of TIR1 using the ß-estradiol expression system. This is a fast-acting gene induction system that does not cause secondary effects on yeast cell metabolism. We demonstrate that combining the AID and ß-estradiol systems results in a tightly-controlled and fast auxin-induced depletion of nuclear target proteins. Moreover, we show that depletion rate can be tuned by modulating the duration of ß-estradiol pre-incubation. We conclude that TIR1 protein is a rate-limiting factor for target protein depletion in yeast and we provide new tools that allow tightly controlled, tuneable and efficient depletion of essential proteins while minimising secondary effects.

    Research areas

  • auxin, degron, estradiol, protein depletion, regulated gene expression, yeast

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