Dec 20, 2011

Expression optimization and synthetic gene networks in cell-free systems

Nucleic Acids Research
David K KarigMitchel J Doktycz


Synthetic biology offers great promise to a variety of applications through the forward engineering of biological function. Most efforts in this field have focused on employing living cells, yet cell-free approaches offer simpler and more flexible contexts. Here, we evaluate cell-free regulatory systems based on T7 promoter-driven expression by characterizing variants of TetR and LacI repressible T7 promoters in a cell-free context and examining sequence elements that determine expression efficiency. Using the resulting constructs, we then explore different approaches for composing regulatory systems, leading to the implementation of inducible negative feedback in Escherichia coli extracts and in the minimal PURE system, which consists of purified proteins necessary for transcription and translation. Despite the fact that negative feedback motifs are common and essential to many natural and engineered systems, this simple building block has not previously been implemented in a cell-free context. As a final step, we then demonstrate that the feedback systems developed using our cell-free approach can be implemented in live E. coli as well, illustrating the potential for using cell-free expression to fast track the development of...Continue Reading

  • References83
  • Citations35
  • References83
  • Citations35


Mentioned in this Paper

Lac Repressors
Alkalescens-Dispar Group
Tetracycline resistance-encoding transposon repressor protein
Synthetic Genes
Repressor Molecules
Tissue factor pathway inhibitor
Feedback, Biochemical
Escherichia coli
Synthetic Biology

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