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Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Oct;39(19):8651-64. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr445. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Synthetic RNA modules for fine-tuning gene expression levels in yeast by modulating RNase III activity.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 1200 E. California Blvd., MC 210-41, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

The design of synthetic gene networks requires an extensive genetic toolbox to control the activities and levels of protein components to achieve desired cellular functions. Recently, a novel class of RNA-based control modules, which act through post-transcriptional processing of transcripts by directed RNase III (Rnt1p) cleavage, were shown to provide predictable control over gene expression and unique properties for manipulating biological networks. Here, we increase the regulatory range of the Rnt1p control elements, by modifying a critical region for enzyme binding to its hairpin substrates, the binding stability box (BSB). We used a high throughput, cell-based selection strategy to screen a BSB library for sequences that exhibit low fluorescence and thus high Rnt1p processing efficiencies. Sixteen unique BSBs were identified that cover a range of protein expression levels, due to the ability of the sequences to affect the hairpin cleavage rate and to form active cleavable complexes with Rnt1p. We further demonstrated that the activity of synthetic Rnt1p hairpins can be rationally programmed by combining the synthetic BSBs with a set of sequences located within a different region of the hairpin that directly modulate cleavage rates, providing a modular assembly strategy for this class of RNA-based control elements.

PMID:
21737428
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3201855
Free PMC Article

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