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BMC Syst Biol. 2015 Dec 30;9:97. doi: 10.1186/s12918-015-0252-1.

A synthetic mammalian network to compute population borders based on engineered reciprocal cell-cell communication.

Author information

1
Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, DE-79104, Freiburg, Germany.
2
Present address: DMK GmbH, Head of Quality Assurance, DE-26939, Ovelgönne, Germany.
3
Present address: Novartis Pharma AG, Biologics Process R&D, CH-4002, Basel, Switzerland.
4
Present address: Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity (RIA) iMED, AstraZeneca, SE-431 83, Mölndal, Sweden.
5
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, University of Freiburg, DE-79104, Freiburg, Germany.
6
Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, DE-79104, Freiburg, Germany. matias.zurbriggen@uni-duesseldorf.de.
7
Present address: Institute of Synthetic Biology and Cluster of Excellence on Plant Science (CEPLAS), University of Düsseldorf, DE-40225, Düsseldorf, Germany. matias.zurbriggen@uni-duesseldorf.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Multicellular organisms depend on the exchange of information between specialized cells. This communication is often difficult to decipher in its native context, but synthetic biology provides tools to engineer well-defined systems that allow the convenient study and manipulation of intercellular communication networks.

RESULTS:

Here, we present the first mammalian synthetic network for reciprocal cell-cell communication to compute the border between a sender/receiver and a processing cell population. The two populations communicate via L-tryptophan and interleukin-4 to highlight the population border by the production of a fluorescent protein. The sharpness of that visualized edge can be adjusted by modulating key parameters of the network.

CONCLUSIONS:

We anticipate that this network will on the one hand be a useful tool to gain deeper insights into the mechanisms of tissue formation in nature and will on the other hand contribute to our ability to engineer artificial tissues.

PMID:
26714638
PMCID:
PMC4696150
DOI:
10.1186/s12918-015-0252-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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