Jun 9, 2018

Systems and synthetic biology approaches in understanding biological oscillators

Quantitative Biology
Zhengda Li, Qiong Yang

Abstract

Self-sustained oscillations are a ubiquitous and vital phenomenon in living systems. From primitive single-cellular bacteria to the most sophisticated organisms, periodicities have been observed in a broad spectrum of biological processes such as neuron firing, heart beats, cell cycles, circadian rhythms, etc. Defects in these oscillators can cause diseases from insomnia to cancer. Elucidating their fundamental mechanisms is of great significance to diseases, and yet challenging, due to the complexity and diversity of these oscillators. Approaches in quantitative systems biology and synthetic biology have been most effective by simplifying the systems to contain only the most essential regulators. Here, we will review major progress that has been made in understanding biological oscillators using these approaches. The quantitative systems biology approach allows for identification of the essential components of an oscillator in an endogenous system. The synthetic biology approach makes use of the knowledge to design the simplest, de novo oscillators in both live cells and cell-free systems. These synthetic oscillators are tractable to further detailed analysis and manipulations. With the recent development of biological and com...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Heart Beat
Solocyte
Oscillators, Biological
Neurons
Sleeplessness
Insomnia homeopathic medication
Cell Cycle
Circadian Rhythm Pathway 2
Analysis
Malignant Neoplasms

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