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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2016 Aug;39:106-114. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2016.06.012. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Modular engineering of cellular signaling proteins and networks.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States; Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94158, United States.
2
Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94158, United States.
3
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States; Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, 94158, United States. Electronic address: lim@cmp.ucsf.edu.

Abstract

Living cells respond to their environment using networks of signaling molecules that act as sensors, information processors, and actuators. These signaling systems are highly modular at both the molecular and network scales, and much evidence suggests that evolution has harnessed this modularity to rewire and generate new physiological behaviors. Conversely, we are now finding that, following nature's example, signaling modules can be recombined to form synthetic tools for monitoring, interrogating, and controlling the behavior of cells. Here we highlight recent progress in the modular design of synthetic receptors, optogenetic switches, and phospho-regulated proteins and circuits, and discuss the expanding role of combinatorial design in the engineering of cellular signaling proteins and networks.

PMID:
27423114
PMCID:
PMC5127285
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2016.06.012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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