Transgenic mice have been used as models for tissue-specific gene regulation and to examine the molecular and cellular effects of altered expression of specific genes in disease processes such as tumorigenesis. Because of the deleterious effects of constitutive expression of transgenes, which frequently result in prenatal or postnatal death, only a limited number of disease models have been established in transgenic mice. We report an inducible binary transactivation system that permits the control of transgene expression in a tissue-specific and inducible fashion in mice. In this system, transcription of the target transgene is kept silent until turned on by the administration of an exogenous compound. We also demonstrate that expression level of the target gene can be induced three to four orders of magnitude and can be controlled by the administrated compound in a dose-dependent manner.
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