A protein-tagging system for signal amplification in gene expression and fluorescence imaging
- Author(s): Tanenbaum, ME
- Gilbert, LA
- Qi, LS
- Weissman, JS
- Vale, RD
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2014.09.039
© 2014 Elsevier Inc. Signals in many biological processes can be amplified by recruiting multiple copies of regulatory proteins to a site of action. Harnessing this principle, we have developed a protein scaffold, a repeating peptide array termed SunTag, which can recruit multiple copies of an antibody-fusion protein. We show that the SunTag can recruit up to 24 copies of GFP, thereby enabling long-term imaging of single protein molecules in living cells. We also use the SunTag to create a potent synthetic transcription factor by recruiting multiple copies of a transcriptional activation domain to a nuclease-deficient CRISPR/Cas9 protein and demonstrate strong activation of endogenous gene expression and re-engineered cell behavior with this system. Thus, the SunTag provides a versatile platform for multimerizing proteins on a target protein scaffold and is likely to have many applications in imaging and controlling biological outputs.
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