Plants have evolved a unique system in which the plant hormone auxin directly induces rapid degradation of the AUX/IAA family of transcription repressors by a specific form of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase. Other eukaryotes lack the auxin response but share the SCF degradation pathway, allowing us to transplant the auxin-inducible degron (AID) system into nonplant cells and use a small molecule to conditionally control protein stability. The AID system allowed rapid and reversible degradation of target proteins in response to auxin and enabled us to generate efficient conditional mutants of essential proteins in yeast as well as cell lines derived from chicken, mouse, hamster, monkey and human cells, thus offering a powerful tool to control protein expression and study protein function.
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We thank K. Labib (Cancer Research UK) for critical reading of the manuscript, for support and for providing Myc and HA antibodies, yeast strains and tagging plasmids for budding yeast; S. Mimura (Nagoya University) for providing the cdc34-2 yeast strain; H. Kanazawa (Osaka University) for providing a GFP plasmid; T. Hori for help with flow cytometry analysis; and H. Araki, H. Masukata and K. Sugasawa for discussion. M.K. thanks Y. Tak for her support. This work was funded by a Challenging Exploratory Research and a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (A) from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan and by a Research Promotion Grant from the Uehara Memorial Foundation to M.K. K.N. is funded by a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowship (DC2).
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Nishimura, K., Fukagawa, T., Takisawa, H. et al. An auxin-based degron system for the rapid depletion of proteins in nonplant cells. Nat Methods 6, 917–922 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.1401
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