CUED Publications database

Synchronous long-term oscillations in a synthetic gene circuit

Potvin-Trottier, L and Lord, ND and Vinnicombe, G and Paulsson, J (2016) Synchronous long-term oscillations in a synthetic gene circuit. Nature, 538. pp. 514-517. ISSN 0028-0836

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Abstract

© 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Synthetically engineered genetic circuits can perform a wide variety of tasks but are generally less accurate than natural systems. Here we revisit the first synthetic genetic oscillator, the repressilator, and modify it using principles from stochastic chemistry in single cells. Specifically, we sought to reduce error propagation and information losses, not by adding control loops, but by simply removing existing features. We show that this modification created highly regular and robust oscillations. Furthermore, some streamlined circuits kept 14 generation periods over a range of growth conditions and kept phase for hundreds of generations in single cells, allowing cells in flasks and colonies to oscillate synchronously without any coupling between them. Our results suggest that even the simplest synthetic genetic networks can achieve a precision that rivals natural systems, and emphasize the importance of noise analyses for circuit design in synthetic biology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Biological Clocks Escherichia coli Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial Gene Regulatory Networks Genes, Synthetic Genetic Engineering Models, Genetic Research Design Synthetic Biology
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div F > Control
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2017 03:51
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2019 02:16
DOI: 10.1038/nature19841