Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Commun. 2014 May 30;5:4012. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5012.

Integrating artificial with natural cells to translate chemical messages that direct E. coli behaviour.

Author information

1
CIBIO, University of Trento, via delle Regole 101, 38123 Mattarello (TN), Italy.
2
1] CIBIO, University of Trento, via delle Regole 101, 38123 Mattarello (TN), Italy [2] Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy.
3
National Research Council-Institute of Biophysics & Bruno Kessler Foundation, Via alla Cascata 56/C, 38123 Trento, Italy.
4
1] Fischell Department of Bioengineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA [2] Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.
5
Department of Biotechnology, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy.

Abstract

Previous efforts to control cellular behaviour have largely relied upon various forms of genetic engineering. Once the genetic content of a living cell is modified, the behaviour of that cell typically changes as well. However, other methods of cellular control are possible. All cells sense and respond to their environment. Therefore, artificial, non-living cellular mimics could be engineered to activate or repress already existing natural sensory pathways of living cells through chemical communication. Here we describe the construction of such a system. The artificial cells expand the senses of Escherichia coli by translating a chemical message that E. coli cannot sense on its own to a molecule that activates a natural cellular response. This methodology could open new opportunities in engineering cellular behaviour without exploiting genetically modified organisms.

PMID:
24874202
PMCID:
PMC4050265
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center