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Nat Genet. 2017 Aug;49(8):1282-1285. doi: 10.1038/ng.3915. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

Synchronized DNA cycling across a bacterial population.

Author information

1
Molecular Biology Section, Division of Biological Science, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.
2
BioCircuits Institute, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.
3
Departments of Physics and Biology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
4
Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA.

Abstract

A defining goal of synthetic biology is to engineer cells to coordinate tasks that often require precise temporal modulation of gene expression. Although a variety of relatively small gene circuits have been constructed and characterized, their logical combination into larger networks remains a central challenge. This is due primarily to the lack of compatible and orthogonal elements for predictable dynamic control of gene expression. As an alternative approach to promoter-level regulation, we explored the use of DNA copy number as a circuit control element. We engineered colony-wide DNA cycling in Escherichia coli in the form of plasmid copy number oscillations via a modular design that can be readily adapted for use with other gene circuitry. Copy number modulation is a generalizable principle that adds a layer of control to synthetic gene circuits, allowing dynamic regulation of circuit elements without requiring specially engineered promoters.

PMID:
28692067
DOI:
10.1038/ng.3915
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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