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Mol Syst Biol. 2013;9:691. doi: 10.1038/msb.2013.48.

Biomedically relevant circuit-design strategies in mammalian synthetic biology.

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  • 1Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

The development and progress in synthetic biology has been remarkable. Although still in its infancy, synthetic biology has achieved much during the past decade. Improvements in genetic circuit design have increased the potential for clinical applicability of synthetic biology research. What began as simple transcriptional gene switches has rapidly developed into a variety of complex regulatory circuits based on the transcriptional, translational and post-translational regulation. Instead of compounds with potential pharmacologic side effects, the inducer molecules now used are metabolites of the human body and even members of native cell signaling pathways. In this review, we address recent progress in mammalian synthetic biology circuit design and focus on how novel designs push synthetic biology toward clinical implementation. Groundbreaking research on the implementation of optogenetics and intercellular communications is addressed, as particularly optogenetics provides unprecedented opportunities for clinical application. Along with an increase in synthetic network complexity, multicellular systems are now being used to provide a platform for next-generation circuit design.

PMID:
24061539
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3792348
Free PMC Article
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