The ability to express tightly controlled amounts of endogenous and recombinant proteins in plant cells is an essential tool for research and biotechnology. Here, the inducibility of the soybean heat-shock Gmhsp17.3B promoter was addressed in the moss Physcomitrella patens, using β-glucuronidase (GUS) and an F-actin marker (GFP-talin) as reporter proteins. In stably transformed moss lines, Gmhsp17.3B-driven GUS expression was extremely low at 25°C. In contrast, a short non-damaging heat-treatment at 38°C rapidly induced reporter expression over three orders of magnitude, enabling GUS accumulation and the labelling of F-actin cytoskeleton in all cell types and tissues. Induction levels were tightly proportional to the temperature and duration of the heat treatment, allowing fine-tuning of protein expression. Repeated heating/cooling cycles led to the massive GUS accumulation, up to 2.3% of the total soluble proteins. The anti-inflammatory drug acetyl salicylic acid (ASA) and the membrane-fluidiser benzyl alcohol (BA) also induced GUS expression at 25°C, allowing the production of recombinant proteins without heat-treatment. The Gmhsp17.3B promoter thus provides a reliable versatile conditional promoter for the controlled expression of recombinant proteins in the moss P. patens.
- Acetyl salicylic acid
- Actin cytoskeleton
- Benzyl alcohol
- Gmhsp17.3B promoter
- Inducible gene-expression system