WorldWideScience

Sample records for synthetic gene engineering

  1. Synthetic virology: engineering viruses for gene delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guenther, Caitlin M; Kuypers, Brianna E; Lam, Michael T; Robinson, Tawana M; Zhao, Julia; Suh, Junghae

    2014-01-01

    The success of gene therapy relies heavily on the performance of vectors that can effectively deliver transgenes to desired cell populations. As viruses have evolved to deliver genetic material into cells, a prolific area of research has emerged over the last several decades to leverage the innate properties of viruses as well as to engineer new features into them. Specifically, the field of synthetic virology aims to capitalize on knowledge accrued from fundamental virology research in order to design functionally enhanced gene delivery vectors. The enhanced viral vectors, or 'bionic' viruses, feature engineered components, or 'parts', that are natural (intrinsic to viruses or from other organisms) and synthetic (such as man-made polymers or inorganic nanoparticles). Various design strategies--rational, combinatorial, and pseudo-rational--have been pursued to create the hybrid viruses. The gene delivery vectors of the future will likely criss-cross the boundaries between natural and synthetic domains to harness the unique strengths afforded by the various functional parts that can be grafted onto virus capsids. Such research endeavors will further expand and enable enhanced control over the functional capacity of these nanoscale devices for biomedicine. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Directed evolution combined with synthetic biology strategies expedite semi-rational engineering of genes and genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Zhen; Zhang, Junli; Jin, Peng; Yang, Sen

    2015-01-01

    Owing to our limited understanding of the relationship between sequence and function and the interaction between intracellular pathways and regulatory systems, the rational design of enzyme-coding genes and de novo assembly of a brand-new artificial genome for a desired functionality or phenotype are difficult to achieve. As an alternative approach, directed evolution has been widely used to engineer genomes and enzyme-coding genes. In particular, significant developments toward DNA synthesis, DNA assembly (in vitro or in vivo), recombination-mediated genetic engineering, and high-throughput screening techniques in the field of synthetic biology have been matured and widely adopted, enabling rapid semi-rational genome engineering to generate variants with desired properties. In this commentary, these novel tools and their corresponding applications in the directed evolution of genomes and enzymes are discussed. Moreover, the strategies for genome engineering and rapid in vitro enzyme evolution are also proposed.

  3. Engineering of a synthetic quadrastable gene network to approach Waddington landscape and cell fate determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Fuqing; Su, Ri-Qi; Lai, Ying-Cheng; Wang, Xiao

    2017-04-11

    The process of cell fate determination has been depicted intuitively as cells travelling and resting on a rugged landscape, which has been probed by various theoretical studies. However, few studies have experimentally demonstrated how underlying gene regulatory networks shape the landscape and hence orchestrate cellular decision-making in the presence of both signal and noise. Here we tested different topologies and verified a synthetic gene circuit with mutual inhibition and auto-activations to be quadrastable, which enables direct study of quadruple cell fate determination on an engineered landscape. We show that cells indeed gravitate towards local minima and signal inductions dictate cell fates through modulating the shape of the multistable landscape. Experiments, guided by model predictions, reveal that sequential inductions generate distinct cell fates by changing landscape in sequence and hence navigating cells to different final states. This work provides a synthetic biology framework to approach cell fate determination and suggests a landscape-based explanation of fixed induction sequences for targeted differentiation.

  4. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  5. Engineering the lycopene synthetic pathway in E. coli by comparison of the carotenoid genes of Pantoea agglomerans and Pantoea ananatis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Sang-Hwal; Kim, Ju-Eun; Lee, Sook-Hee; Park, Hye-Min; Choi, Myung-Suk; Kim, Jae-Yean; Lee, Si-Hyoung; Shin, Yong-Chul; Keasling, Jay D; Kim, Seon-Won

    2007-02-01

    The lycopene synthetic pathway was engineered in Escherichia coli using the carotenoid genes (crtE, crtB, and crtI) of Pantoea agglomerans and Pantoea ananatis. E. coli harboring the P. agglomerans crt genes produced 27 mg/l of lycopene in 2YT medium without isopropyl-beta-D: -thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG) induction, which was twofold higher than that produced by E. coli harboring the P. ananatis crt genes (12 mg/l lycopene) with 0.1 mM IPTG induction. The crt genes of P. agglomerans proved better for lycopene production in E. coli than those of P. ananatis. The crt genes of the two bacteria were also compared in E. coli harboring the mevalonate bottom pathway, which was capable of providing sufficient carotenoid building blocks, isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), with exogenous mevalonate supplementation. Lycopene production significantly increased using the mevalonate bottom pathway and 60 mg/l of lycopene was obtained with the P. agglomerans crt genes, which was higher than that obtained with the P. ananatis crt genes (35 mg/l lycopene). When crtE among the P. ananatis crt genes was replaced with P. agglomerans crtE or Archaeoglobus fulgidus gps, both lycopene production and cell growth were similar to that obtained with P. agglomerans crt genes. The crtE gene was responsible for the observed difference in lycopene production and cell growth between E. coli harboring the crt genes of P. agglomerans and P. ananatis. As there was no significant difference in lycopene production between E. coli harboring P. agglomerans crtE and A. fulgidus gps, farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) synthesis was not rate-limiting in E. coli.

  6. Engineering Ecosystems and Synthetic Ecologies#

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    2012-01-01

    Microbial ecosystems play an important role in nature. Engineering these systems for industrial, medical, or biotechnological purposes are important pursuits for synthetic biologists and biological engineers moving forward. Here, we provide a review of recent progress in engineering natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems. We highlight important forward engineering design principles, theoretical and quantitative models, new experimental and manipulation tools, and possible applications of microbial ecosystem engineering. We argue that simply engineering individual microbes will lead to fragile homogenous populations that are difficult to sustain, especially in highly heterogeneous and unpredictable environments. Instead, engineered microbial ecosystems are likely to be more robust and able to achieve complex tasks at the spatial and temporal resolution needed for truly programmable biology. PMID:22722235

  7. Engineering emergent multicellular behavior through synthetic adhesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, David; Riedel-Kruse, Ingmar

    In over a decade, synthetic biology has developed increasingly robust gene networks within single cells, but constructed very few systems that demonstrate multicellular spatio-temporal dynamics. We are filling this gap in synthetic biology's toolbox by developing an E. coli self-assembly platform based on modular cell-cell adhesion. We developed a system in which adhesive selectivity is provided by a library of outer membrane-displayed peptides with intra-library specificities, while affinity is provided by consistent expression across the entire library. We further provide a biophysical model to help understand the parameter regimes in which this tool can be used to self-assemble into cellular clusters, filaments, or meshes. The combined platform will enable future development of synthetic multicellular systems for use in consortia-based metabolic engineering, in living materials, and in controlled study of minimal multicellular systems. Stanford Bio-X Bowes Fellowship.

  8. Synthetic biology: engineering molecular computers

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2018-01-01

    Complicated systems cannot survive the rigors of a chaotic environment, without balancing mechanisms that sense, decide upon and counteract the exerted disturbances. Especially so with living organisms, forced by competition to incredible complexities, escalating also their self-controlling plight. Therefore, they compute. Can we harness biological mechanisms to create artificial computing systems? Biology offers several levels of design abstraction: molecular machines, cells, organisms... ranging from the more easily-defined to the more inherently complex. At the bottom of this stack we find the nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, with their digital structure and relatively precise interactions. They are central enablers of designing artificial biological systems, in the confluence of engineering and biology, that we call Synthetic biology. In the first part, let us follow their trail towards an overview of building computing machines with molecules -- and in the second part, take the case study of iGEM Greece 201...

  9. Synthetic biology: an emerging engineering discipline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Allen A; Lu, Timothy K

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, synthetic biology has emerged as an engineering discipline for biological systems. Compared with other substrates, biology poses a unique set of engineering challenges resulting from an incomplete understanding of natural biological systems and tools for manipulating them. To address these challenges, synthetic biology is advancing from developing proof-of-concept designs to focusing on core platforms for rational and high-throughput biological engineering. These platforms span the entire biological design cycle, including DNA construction, parts libraries, computational design tools, and interfaces for manipulating and probing synthetic circuits. The development of these enabling technologies requires an engineering mindset to be applied to biology, with an emphasis on generalizable techniques in addition to application-specific designs. This review aims to discuss the progress and challenges in synthetic biology and to illustrate areas where synthetic biology may impact biomedical engineering and human health.

  10. Synthetic antifreeze peptide and synthetic gene coding for its production

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

    A synthetic antifreeze peptide and a synthetic gene coding for the antifreeze peptide have been produced. The antifreeze peptide has a greater number of repeating amino acid sequences than is present in the native antifreeze peptides from winter flounder upon which the synthetic antifreeze peptide was modeled. Each repeating amino acid sequence has two polar amino acid residues which are spaced a controlled distance apart so that the antifreeze peptide may inhibit ice formation. The synthetic...

  11. Synthetic sustained gene delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, Ankit; Mallapragada, Surya K

    2008-01-01

    Gene therapy today is hampered by the need of a safe and efficient gene delivery system that can provide a sustained therapeutic effect without cytotoxicity or unwanted immune responses. Bolus gene delivery in solution results in the loss of delivered factors via lymphatic system and may cause undesired effects by the escape of bioactive molecules to distant sites. Controlled gene delivery systems, acting as localized depot of genes, provide an extended sustained release of genes, giving prolonged maintenance of the therapeutic level of encoded proteins. They also limit the DNA degradation in the nuclease rich extra-cellular environment. While attempts have been made to adapt existing controlled drug delivery technologies, more novel approaches are being investigated for controlled gene delivery. DNA encapsulated in nano/micro spheres of polymers have been administered systemically/orally to be taken up by the targeted tissues and provide sustained release once internalized. Alternatively, DNA entrapped in hydrogels or scaffolds have been injected/implanted in tissues/cavities as platforms for gene delivery. The present review examines these different modalities for sustained delivery of viral and non-viral gene-delivery vectors. Design parameters and release mechanisms of different systems made with synthetic or natural polymers are presented along with their prospective applications and opportunities for continuous development.

  12. Cell-free synthetic biology forin vitroprototype engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Simon J; MacDonald, James T; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-06-15

    Cell-free transcription-translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. © 2017 The Author(s).

  13. Paper-based Synthetic Gene Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pardee, Keith; Green, Alexander A.; Ferrante, Tom; Cameron, D. Ewen; DaleyKeyser, Ajay; Yin, Peng; Collins, James J.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic gene networks have wide-ranging uses in reprogramming and rewiring organisms. To date, there has not been a way to harness the vast potential of these networks beyond the constraints of a laboratory or in vivo environment. Here, we present an in vitro paper-based platform that provides a new venue for synthetic biologists to operate, and a much-needed medium for the safe deployment of engineered gene circuits beyond the lab. Commercially available cell-free systems are freeze-dried onto paper, enabling the inexpensive, sterile and abiotic distribution of synthetic biology-based technologies for the clinic, global health, industry, research and education. For field use, we create circuits with colorimetric outputs for detection by eye, and fabricate a low-cost, electronic optical interface. We demonstrate this technology with small molecule and RNA actuation of genetic switches, rapid prototyping of complex gene circuits, and programmable in vitro diagnostics, including glucose sensors and strain-specific Ebola virus sensors. PMID:25417167

  14. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Engineering Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Joshua B; Perez-Pinera, Pablo; Gersbach, Charles A

    2017-06-21

    The programming of new functions into mammalian cells has tremendous application in research and medicine. Continued improvements in the capacity to sequence and synthesize DNA have rapidly increased our understanding of mechanisms of gene function and regulation on a genome-wide scale and have expanded the set of genetic components available for programming cell biology. The invention of new research tools, including targetable DNA-binding systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and sensor-actuator devices that can recognize and respond to diverse chemical, mechanical, and optical inputs, has enabled precise control of complex cellular behaviors at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. These tools have been critical for the expansion of synthetic biology techniques from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic hosts to mammalian systems. Recent progress in the development of genome and epigenome editing tools and in the engineering of designer cells with programmable genetic circuits is expanding approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to establish personalized theranostic strategies for next-generation medicines. This review summarizes the development of these enabling technologies and their application to transforming mammalian synthetic biology into a distinct field in research and medicine.

  15. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Rupp, Levi J; Roybal, Kole T; Lim, Wendell A

    2015-08-01

    There is rapidly growing interest in learning how to engineer immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, because of the potential of these engineered cells to be used for therapeutic applications such as the recognition and killing of cancer cells. At the same time, our knowhow and capability to logically engineer cellular behavior is growing rapidly with the development of synthetic biology. Here we describe how synthetic biology approaches are being used to rationally alter the behavior of T cells to optimize them for therapeutic functions. We also describe future developments that will be important in order to construct safe and precise T cell therapeutics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-16

    sink’, allowing a greater utilization of solar energy under conditions of excess light. The engineered microalgae exhibit a 25-30% enhancement in...the cellular ‘metabolic sink’, allowing a greater utilization of solar energy under conditions of excess light. The engineered microalgae exhibit a

  17. Synthetic Biology to Engineer Bacteriophage Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rita Costa, Ana; Milho, Catarina; Azeredo, Joana; Pires, Diana Priscila

    2018-01-01

    Recent advances in the synthetic biology field have enabled the development of new molecular biology techniques used to build specialized bacteriophages with new functionalities. Bacteriophages have been engineered towards a wide range of applications including pathogen control and detection, targeted drug delivery, or even assembly of new materials.In this chapter, two strategies that have been successfully used to genetically engineer bacteriophage genomes are addressed: a yeast-based platform and bacteriophage recombineering of electroporated DNA.

  18. Enabling plant synthetic biology through genome engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baltes, Nicholas J; Voytas, Daniel F

    2015-02-01

    Synthetic biology seeks to create new biological systems, including user-designed plants and plant cells. These systems can be employed for a variety of purposes, ranging from producing compounds of industrial or therapeutic value, to reducing crop losses by altering cellular responses to pathogens or climate change. To realize the full potential of plant synthetic biology, techniques are required that provide control over the genetic code - enabling targeted modifications to DNA sequences within living plant cells. Such control is now within reach owing to recent advances in the use of sequence-specific nucleases to precisely engineer genomes. We discuss here the enormous potential provided by genome engineering for plant synthetic biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Engineering reduced evolutionary potential for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renda, Brian A.; Hammerling, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences after these devices are constructed and deployed. Thus, biological engineering efforts can be confounded by undesired evolution that rapidly breaks the functions of parts and systems, particularly when they are costly to the host cell to maintain. Here, we explain the fundamental properties that determine the evolvability of biological systems. Then, we use this framework to review current efforts to engineer the DNA sequences that encode synthetic biology devices and the genomes of their microbial hosts to reduce their ability to evolve and therefore increase their genetic reliability so that they maintain their intended functions over longer timescales. PMID:24556867

  20. Genome modularity and synthetic biology: Engineering systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mol, Milsee; Kabra, Ritika; Singh, Shailza

    2018-01-01

    Whole genome sequencing projects running in various laboratories around the world has generated immense data. A systematic phylogenetic analysis of this data shows that genome complexity goes on decreasing as it evolves, due to its modular nature. This modularity can be harnessed to minimize the genome further to reduce it with the bare minimum essential genes. A reduced modular genome, can fuel progress in the area of synthetic biology by providing a ready to use plug and play chassis. Advances in gene editing technology such as the use of tailor made synthetic transcription factors will further enhance the availability of synthetic devices to be applied in the fields of environment, agriculture and health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Plant synthetic biology for molecular engineering of signalling and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemhauser, Jennifer L; Torii, Keiko U

    2016-03-02

    Molecular genetic studies of model plants in the past few decades have identified many key genes and pathways controlling development, metabolism and environmental responses. Recent technological and informatics advances have led to unprecedented volumes of data that may uncover underlying principles of plants as biological systems. The newly emerged discipline of synthetic biology and related molecular engineering approaches is built on this strong foundation. Today, plant regulatory pathways can be reconstituted in heterologous organisms to identify and manipulate parameters influencing signalling outputs. Moreover, regulatory circuits that include receptors, ligands, signal transduction components, epigenetic machinery and molecular motors can be engineered and introduced into plants to create novel traits in a predictive manner. Here, we provide a brief history of plant synthetic biology and significant recent examples of this approach, focusing on how knowledge generated by the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana has contributed to the rapid rise of this new discipline, and discuss potential future directions.

  2. Engineering multicellular traits in synthetic microbial populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, John S

    2012-08-01

    Without cell-to-cell communication, the organization and regulation of specialized cell types that underpin the development and physiology of multicellular organisms would be impossible. In nature, unicellular microbes have also been shown to display multicellular-like traits, such as intercellular communication, division of labor, and cooperative coordination of cellular activities. Likewise, the incorporation of artificial cell-to-cell communication into genetic circuit designs is enabling synthetic biologists to move from programming single cells towards the engineering of population-level behaviors and functions, such as diversification, spatial organization, synchronization, and coordinated information processing. The disciplined engineering goal of routinely building complex genetic circuits from well-characterized modules still poses challenges, owing to reusability and input-output matching problems resulting from information transfer being mediated through diffusible molecules. Optogenetic interfaces between circuits are considered as a possible solution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transcription control engineering and applications in synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Engstrom

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In synthetic biology, researchers assemble biological components in new ways to produce systems with practical applications. One of these practical applications is control of the flow of genetic information (from nucleic acid to protein, a.k.a. gene regulation. Regulation is critical for optimizing protein (and therefore activity levels and the subsequent levels of metabolites and other cellular properties. The central dogma of molecular biology posits that information flow commences with transcription, and accordingly, regulatory tools targeting transcription have received the most attention in synthetic biology. In this mini-review, we highlight many past successes and summarize the lessons learned in developing tools for controlling transcription. In particular, we focus on engineering studies where promoters and transcription terminators (cis-factors were directly engineered and/or isolated from DNA libraries. We also review several well-characterized transcription regulators (trans-factors, giving examples of how cis- and trans-acting factors have been combined to create digital and analogue switches for regulating transcription in response to various signals. Last, we provide examples of how engineered transcription control systems have been used in metabolic engineering and more complicated genetic circuits. While most of our mini-review focuses on the well-characterized bacterium Escherichia coli, we also provide several examples of the use of transcription control engineering in non-model organisms. Similar approaches have been applied outside the bacterial kingdom indicating that the lessons learned from bacterial studies may be generalized for other organisms.

  4. Transcription control engineering and applications in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engstrom, Michael D; Pfleger, Brian F

    2017-09-01

    In synthetic biology, researchers assemble biological components in new ways to produce systems with practical applications. One of these practical applications is control of the flow of genetic information (from nucleic acid to protein), a.k.a. gene regulation. Regulation is critical for optimizing protein (and therefore activity) levels and the subsequent levels of metabolites and other cellular properties. The central dogma of molecular biology posits that information flow commences with transcription, and accordingly, regulatory tools targeting transcription have received the most attention in synthetic biology. In this mini-review, we highlight many past successes and summarize the lessons learned in developing tools for controlling transcription. In particular, we focus on engineering studies where promoters and transcription terminators ( cis -factors) were directly engineered and/or isolated from DNA libraries. We also review several well-characterized transcription regulators ( trans- factors), giving examples of how cis- and trans -acting factors have been combined to create digital and analogue switches for regulating transcription in response to various signals. Last, we provide examples of how engineered transcription control systems have been used in metabolic engineering and more complicated genetic circuits. While most of our mini-review focuses on the well-characterized bacterium Escherichia coli , we also provide several examples of the use of transcription control engineering in non-model organisms. Similar approaches have been applied outside the bacterial kingdom indicating that the lessons learned from bacterial studies may be generalized for other organisms.

  5. Synthetic biodegradable functional polymers for tissue engineering: a brief review

    OpenAIRE

    BaoLin, GUO; MA, Peter X.

    2014-01-01

    Scaffolds play a crucial role in tissue engineering. Biodegradable polymers with great processing flexibility are the predominant scaffolding materials. Synthetic biodegradable polymers with well-defined structure and without immunological concerns associated with naturally derived polymers are widely used in tissue engineering. The synthetic biodegradable polymers that are widely used in tissue engineering, including polyesters, polyanhydrides, polyphosphazenes, polyurethane, and poly (glyce...

  6. PGASO: A synthetic biology tool for engineering a cellulolytic yeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang Jui-Jen

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To achieve an economical cellulosic ethanol production, a host that can do both cellulosic saccharification and ethanol fermentation is desirable. However, to engineer a non-cellulolytic yeast to be such a host requires synthetic biology techniques to transform multiple enzyme genes into its genome. Results A technique, named Promoter-based Gene Assembly and Simultaneous Overexpression (PGASO, that employs overlapping oligonucleotides for recombinatorial assembly of gene cassettes with individual promoters, was developed. PGASO was applied to engineer Kluyveromycesmarxianus KY3, which is a thermo- and toxin-tolerant yeast. We obtained a recombinant strain, called KR5, that is capable of simultaneously expressing exoglucanase and endoglucanase (both of Trichodermareesei, a beta-glucosidase (from a cow rumen fungus, a neomycin phosphotransferase, and a green fluorescent protein. High transformation efficiency and accuracy were achieved as ~63% of the transformants was confirmed to be correct. KR5 can utilize beta-glycan, cellobiose or CMC as the sole carbon source for growth and can directly convert cellobiose and beta-glycan to ethanol. Conclusions This study provides the first example of multi-gene assembly in a single step in a yeast species other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We successfully engineered a yeast host with a five-gene cassette assembly and the new host is capable of co-expressing three types of cellulase genes. Our study shows that PGASO is an efficient tool for simultaneous expression of multiple enzymes in the kefir yeast KY3 and that KY3 can serve as a host for developing synthetic biology tools.

  7. Synthetic genome engineering forging new frontiers for wine yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pretorius, Isak S

    2017-02-01

    Over the past 15 years, the seismic shifts caused by the convergence of biomolecular, chemical, physical, mathematical, and computational sciences alongside cutting-edge developments in information technology and engineering have erupted into a new field of scientific endeavor dubbed Synthetic Biology. Recent rapid advances in high-throughput DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis techniques are enabling the design and construction of new biological parts (genes), devices (gene networks) and modules (biosynthetic pathways), and the redesign of biological systems (cells and organisms) for useful purposes. In 2014, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae became the first eukaryotic cell to be equipped with a fully functional synthetic chromosome. This was achieved following the synthesis of the first viral (poliovirus in 2002 and bacteriophage Phi-X174 in 2003) and bacterial (Mycoplasma genitalium in 2008 and Mycoplasma mycoides in 2010) genomes, and less than two decades after revealing the full genome sequence of a laboratory (S288c in 1996) and wine (AWRI1631 in 2008) yeast strain. A large international project - the Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc2.0) Project - is now underway to synthesize all 16 chromosomes (∼12 Mb carrying ∼6000 genes) of the sequenced S288c laboratory strain by 2018. If successful, S. cerevisiae will become the first eukaryote to cross the horizon of in silico design of complex cells through de novo synthesis, reshuffling, and editing of genomes. In the meantime, yeasts are being used as cell factories for the semi-synthetic production of high-value compounds, such as the potent antimalarial artemisinin, and food ingredients, such as resveratrol, vanillin, stevia, nootkatone, and saffron. As a continuum of previously genetically engineered industrially important yeast strains, precision genome engineering is bound to also impact the study and development of wine yeast strains supercharged with synthetic DNA. The first taste of what the future

  8. Butyrate production in engineered Escherichia coli with synthetic scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Jang-Mi; Mazumdar, Suman; Lee, Sang-Woo; Jung, Moo-Young; Lim, Jae-Hyung; Seo, Sang-Woo; Jung, Gyoo-Yeol; Oh, Min-Kyu

    2013-10-01

    Butyrate pathway was constructed in recombinant Escherichia coli using the genes from Clostridium acetobutylicum and Treponema denticola. However, the pathway constructed from exogenous enzymes did not efficiently convert carbon flux to butyrate. Three steps of the productivity enhancement were attempted in this study. First, pathway engineering to delete metabolic pathways to by-products successfully improved the butyrate production. Second, synthetic scaffold protein that spatially co-localizes enzymes was introduced to improve the efficiency of the heterologous pathway enzymes, resulting in threefold improvement in butyrate production. Finally, further optimizations of inducer concentrations and pH adjustment were tried. The final titer of butyrate was 4.3 and 7.2 g/L under batch and fed-batch cultivation, respectively. This study demonstrated the importance of synthetic scaffold protein as a useful tool for optimization of heterologous butyrate pathway in E. coli. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Recoded organisms engineered to depend on synthetic amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovner, Alexis J; Haimovich, Adrian D; Katz, Spencer R; Li, Zhe; Grome, Michael W; Gassaway, Brandon M; Amiram, Miriam; Patel, Jaymin R; Gallagher, Ryan R; Rinehart, Jesse; Isaacs, Farren J

    2015-02-05

    Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are increasingly used in research and industrial systems to produce high-value pharmaceuticals, fuels and chemicals. Genetic isolation and intrinsic biocontainment would provide essential biosafety measures to secure these closed systems and enable safe applications of GMOs in open systems, which include bioremediation and probiotics. Although safeguards have been designed to control cell growth by essential gene regulation, inducible toxin switches and engineered auxotrophies, these approaches are compromised by cross-feeding of essential metabolites, leaked expression of essential genes, or genetic mutations. Here we describe the construction of a series of genomically recoded organisms (GROs) whose growth is restricted by the expression of multiple essential genes that depend on exogenously supplied synthetic amino acids (sAAs). We introduced a Methanocaldococcus jannaschii tRNA:aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pair into the chromosome of a GRO derived from Escherichia coli that lacks all TAG codons and release factor 1, endowing this organism with the orthogonal translational components to convert TAG into a dedicated sense codon for sAAs. Using multiplex automated genome engineering, we introduced in-frame TAG codons into 22 essential genes, linking their expression to the incorporation of synthetic phenylalanine-derived amino acids. Of the 60 sAA-dependent variants isolated, a notable strain harbouring three TAG codons in conserved functional residues of MurG, DnaA and SerS and containing targeted tRNA deletions maintained robust growth and exhibited undetectable escape frequencies upon culturing ∼10(11) cells on solid media for 7 days or in liquid media for 20 days. This is a significant improvement over existing biocontainment approaches. We constructed synthetic auxotrophs dependent on sAAs that were not rescued by cross-feeding in environmental growth assays. These auxotrophic GROs possess alternative genetic codes that

  10. Expression of an engineered synthetic cry2Aa (D42/K63F/K64P) gene of Bacillus thuringiensis in marker free transgenic tobacco facilitated full-protection from cotton leaf worm (S. littoralis) at very low concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gayen, Srimonta; Mandal, Chandi Charan; Samanta, Milan Kumar; Dey, Avishek; Sen, Soumitra Kumar

    2016-04-01

    Emergence of resistant insects limits the sustainability of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) transgenic crop plants for insect management. Beside this, the presence of unwanted marker gene(s) in the transgenic crops is also a major environmental and health concern. Thus, development of marker free transgenic crop plants expressing a new class of toxin having a different mortality mechanism is necessary for resistance management. In a previous study, we generated an engineered Cry2Aa (D42/K63F/K64P) toxin which has a different mortality mechanism as compared to first generation Bt toxin Cry1A, and this engineered toxin was found to enhance 4.1-6.6-fold toxicity against major lepidopteran insect pests of crop plants. In the present study, we have tested the potency of this engineered synthetic Cry2Aa (D42/K63F/K64P) toxin as a candidate in the development of insect resistant transgenic tobacco plants. Simultaneously, we have eliminated the selectable marker gene from the Cry2Aa (D42/K63F/K64P) expressing tobacco plants by exploiting the Cre/lox mediated recombination methodology, and successfully developed marker free T2 transgenic tobacco plants expressing the engineered Cry2Aa toxin. Realtime and western blot analysis demonstrated the expression of engineered toxin gene in transgenic plants. Insect feeding assays revealed that the marker free T2 progeny of transgenic plants expressing Cry2Aa (D42/K63F/K64P) toxin showed 82-92 and 52-61 % mortality to cotton leaf worm (CLW) and cotton bollworm (CBW) respectively. Thus, this engineered Cry2Aa toxin could be useful for the generation of insect resistant transgenic Bt lines which will protect the crop damages caused by different insect pests such as CLW and CBW.

  11. De Novo metabolic engineering and the promise of synthetic DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein-Marcuschamer, Daniel; Yadav, Vikramaditya G; Ghaderi, Adel; Stephanopoulos, Gregory N

    2010-01-01

    -expressing single or multiple genes using recombinant DNA, and intervention targets were predominantly selected based on knowledge of the stoichiometry, kinetics, and regulation of the pathway of interest. However, the distributive nature of metabolic control, as opposed to the existence of a single rate-limiting step, predicates the controlled expression of multiple enzymes in several coordinated pathways to achieve the desired flux, and, as such, simple strategies involving either deleting or over-expressing genes are greatly limited in this context. On the other hand, the use of synthetic or modified promoters, riboswitches, tunable intergenic regions, and translation modulators such as internal ribosome entry sequences, upstream open reading frames, optimized mRNA secondary structures, and RNA silencing have been shown to be enormously conducive to achieving the fine-tuning of gene expression. These modifications to the genetic machinery of the host organism can be best achieved via the use of synthetic DNA technology, and the constant improvement in the affordability and quality of oligonucleotide synthesis suggests that these might well become the mainstay of the metabolic engineering toolbox in the years to come. The possibilities that arise with the use of synthetic oligonucleotides will be delineated herein.

  12. Modularization of genetic elements promotes synthetic metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Hao; Li, Bing-Zhi; Zhang, Wen-Qian; Liu, Duo; Yuan, Ying-Jin

    2015-11-15

    In the context of emerging synthetic biology, metabolic engineering is moving to the next stage powered by new technologies. Systematical modularization of genetic elements makes it more convenient to engineer biological systems for chemical production or other desired purposes. In the past few years, progresses were made in engineering metabolic pathway using synthetic biology tools. Here, we spotlighted the topic of implementation of modularized genetic elements in metabolic engineering. First, we overviewed the principle developed for modularizing genetic elements and then discussed how the genetic modules advanced metabolic engineering studies. Next, we picked up some milestones of engineered metabolic pathway achieved in the past few years. Last, we discussed the rapid raised synthetic biology field of "building a genome" and the potential in metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Automatic design of digital synthetic gene circuits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario A Marchisio

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available De novo computational design of synthetic gene circuits that achieve well-defined target functions is a hard task. Existing, brute-force approaches run optimization algorithms on the structure and on the kinetic parameter values of the network. However, more direct rational methods for automatic circuit design are lacking. Focusing on digital synthetic gene circuits, we developed a methodology and a corresponding tool for in silico automatic design. For a given truth table that specifies a circuit's input-output relations, our algorithm generates and ranks several possible circuit schemes without the need for any optimization. Logic behavior is reproduced by the action of regulatory factors and chemicals on the promoters and on the ribosome binding sites of biological Boolean gates. Simulations of circuits with up to four inputs show a faithful and unequivocal truth table representation, even under parametric perturbations and stochastic noise. A comparison with already implemented circuits, in addition, reveals the potential for simpler designs with the same function. Therefore, we expect the method to help both in devising new circuits and in simplifying existing solutions.

  14. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, YZ; Lee, JK; Zhao, HM

    2013-11-15

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Synthetic Biology: Engineering Living Systems from Biophysical Principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, Bryan A; Kim, Kyung; Medley, J Kyle; Sauro, Herbert M

    2017-03-28

    Synthetic biology was founded as a biophysical discipline that sought explanations for the origins of life from chemical and physical first principles. Modern synthetic biology has been reinvented as an engineering discipline to design new organisms as well as to better understand fundamental biological mechanisms. However, success is still largely limited to the laboratory and transformative applications of synthetic biology are still in their infancy. Here, we review six principles of living systems and how they compare and contrast with engineered systems. We cite specific examples from the synthetic biology literature that illustrate these principles and speculate on their implications for further study. To fully realize the promise of synthetic biology, we must be aware of life's unique properties. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Basic science through engineering? Synthetic modeling and the idea of biology-inspired engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuuttila, Tarja; Loettgers, Andrea

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology is often understood in terms of the pursuit for well-characterized biological parts to create synthetic wholes. Accordingly, it has typically been conceived of as an engineering dominated and application oriented field. We argue that the relationship of synthetic biology to engineering is far more nuanced than that and involves a sophisticated epistemic dimension, as shown by the recent practice of synthetic modeling. Synthetic models are engineered genetic networks that are implanted in a natural cell environment. Their construction is typically combined with experiments on model organisms as well as mathematical modeling and simulation. What is especially interesting about this combinational modeling practice is that, apart from greater integration between these different epistemic activities, it has also led to the questioning of some central assumptions and notions on which synthetic biology is based. As a result synthetic biology is in the process of becoming more "biology inspired." Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Synthetic Versus Tissue-Engineered Implants for Joint Replacement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan E. T. Shepherd

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Human synovial joints are remarkable as they can last for a lifetime. However, they can be affected by disease that may lead to destruction of the joint surface. The most common treatment in the advanced stages of joint disease is artificial joint replacement, where the diseased synovial joint is replaced with an artificial implant made from synthetic materials, such as metals and polymers. A new technique for repairing diseased synovial joints is tissue engineering where cells are used to grow replacement tissue. This paper explores the relative merits of synthetic and tissue-engineered implants, using joint replacement as an example. Synthetic joint replacement is a well-established procedure with the advantages of early mobilisation, pain relief and high patient satisfaction. However, synthetic implants are not natural tissues; they can cause adverse reactions to the body and there could be a mismatch in mechanical properties compared to natural tissues. Tissue-engineered implants offer great potential and have major advantages over synthetic implants as they are natural tissue, which should ensure that they are totally biocompatible, have the correct mechanical properties and integrate well with the existing tissue. However, there are still many limitations to be addressed in tissue engineering such as scaling up for production, bioreactor design, appropriate regulation and the potential for disease to attack the new tissue-engineered implant.

  18. Characterization of Thermal Stability of Synthetic and Semi-Synthetic Engine Oils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anand Kumar Tripathi

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Engine oils undergo oxidative degradation and wears out during service. Hence it is important to characterize ageing of engine oils at different simulated conditions to evaluate the performance of existing oils and also design new formulations. This work focuses on characterizing the thermo-oxidative degradation of synthetic and semi-synthetic engine oils aged at 120, 149 and 200 °C. Apparent activation energy of decomposition of aged oils evaluated using the isoconversional Kissinger-Akahira-Sunose technique was used as a thermal stability marker. The temporal variation of stability at different ageing temperatures was corroborated with kinematic viscosity, oxidation, sulfation and nitration indices, total base number, antiwear additive content and molecular structure of the organic species present in the oils. At the lowest temperature employed, synthetic oil underwent higher rate of oxidation, while semi-synthetic oil was stable for longer time periods. At higher temperatures, the initial rate of change of average apparent activation energy of synthetic oil correlated well with a similar variation in oxidation number. A mixture of long chain linear, branched, and cyclic hydrocarbons were observed when semi-synthetic oil was degraded at higher temperatures.

  19. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes: from systems biology to synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Peng; Bhan, Namita; Koffas, Mattheos A G

    2013-04-01

    Plant metabolism represents an enormous repository of compounds that are of pharmaceutical and biotechnological importance. Engineering plant metabolism into microbes will provide sustainable solutions to produce pharmaceutical and fuel molecules that could one day replace substantial portions of the current fossil-fuel based economy. Metabolic engineering entails targeted manipulation of biosynthetic pathways to maximize yields of desired products. Recent advances in Systems Biology and the emergence of Synthetic Biology have accelerated our ability to design, construct and optimize cell factories for metabolic engineering applications. Progress in predicting and modeling genome-scale metabolic networks, versatile gene assembly platforms and delicate synthetic pathway optimization strategies has provided us exciting opportunities to exploit the full potential of cell metabolism. In this review, we will discuss how systems and synthetic biology tools can be integrated to create tailor-made cell factories for efficient production of natural products and fuel molecules in microorganisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Mapping the operational landscape of microRNAs in synthetic gene circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quarton, Tyler; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Lee, James; Kannan, Srijaa; Li, Yi; Ma, Lan; Bleris, Leonidas

    2018-01-01

    MicroRNAs are a class of short, noncoding RNAs that are ubiquitous modulators of gene expression, with roles in development, homeostasis, and disease. Engineered microRNAs are now frequently used as regulatory modules in synthetic biology. Moreover, synthetic gene circuits equipped with engineered microRNA targets with perfect complementarity to endogenous microRNAs establish an interface with the endogenous milieu at the single-cell level. The function of engineered microRNAs and sensor systems is typically optimized through extensive trial-and-error. Here, using a combination of synthetic biology experimentation in human embryonic kidney cells and quantitative analysis, we investigate the relationship between input genetic template abundance, microRNA concentration, and output under microRNA control. We provide a framework that employs the complete operational landscape of a synthetic gene circuit and enables the stepwise development of mathematical models. We derive a phenomenological model that recapitulates experimentally observed nonlinearities and contains features that provide insight into the microRNA function at various abundances. Our work facilitates the characterization and engineering of multi-component genetic circuits and specifically points to new insights on the operation of microRNAs as mediators of endogenous information and regulators of gene expression in synthetic biology.

  1. Accessing Nature's diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jason R; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through "scaffold diversification", and subsequent "derivatization" of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the "privileged" chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents.

  2. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required...... to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together...... with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed...

  3. On the road to synthetic life: the minimal cell and genome-scale engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juhas, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology employs rational engineering principles to build biological systems from the libraries of standard, well characterized biological parts. Biological systems designed and built by synthetic biologists fulfill a plethora of useful purposes, ranging from better healthcare and energy production to biomanufacturing. Recent advancements in the synthesis, assembly and "booting-up" of synthetic genomes and in low and high-throughput genome engineering have paved the way for engineering on the genome-wide scale. One of the key goals of genome engineering is the construction of minimal genomes consisting solely of essential genes (genes indispensable for survival of living organisms). Besides serving as a toolbox to understand the universal principles of life, the cell encoded by minimal genome could be used to build a stringently controlled "cell factory" with a desired phenotype. This review provides an update on recent advances in the genome-scale engineering with particular emphasis on the engineering of minimal genomes. Furthermore, it presents an ongoing discussion to the scientific community for better suitability of minimal or robust cells for industrial applications.

  4. Precision control of recombinant gene transcription for CHO cell synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Adam J; James, David C

    2016-01-01

    The next generation of mammalian cell factories for biopharmaceutical production will be genetically engineered to possess both generic and product-specific manufacturing capabilities that may not exist naturally. Introduction of entirely new combinations of synthetic functions (e.g. novel metabolic or stress-response pathways), and retro-engineering of existing functional cell modules will drive disruptive change in cellular manufacturing performance. However, before we can apply the core concepts underpinning synthetic biology (design, build, test) to CHO cell engineering we must first develop practical and robust enabling technologies. Fundamentally, we will require the ability to precisely control the relative stoichiometry of numerous functional components we simultaneously introduce into the host cell factory. In this review we discuss how this can be achieved by design of engineered promoters that enable concerted control of recombinant gene transcription. We describe the specific mechanisms of transcriptional regulation that affect promoter function during bioproduction processes, and detail the highly-specific promoter design criteria that are required in the context of CHO cell engineering. The relative applicability of diverse promoter development strategies are discussed, including re-engineering of natural sequences, design of synthetic transcription factor-based systems, and construction of synthetic promoters. This review highlights the potential of promoter engineering to achieve precision transcriptional control for CHO cell synthetic biology. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Synthetic biodegradable functional polymers for tissue engineering: a brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    BaoLin, Guo; Ma, Peter X

    2014-04-01

    Scaffolds play a crucial role in tissue engineering. Biodegradable polymers with great processing flexibility are the predominant scaffolding materials. Synthetic biodegradable polymers with well-defined structure and without immunological concerns associated with naturally derived polymers are widely used in tissue engineering. The synthetic biodegradable polymers that are widely used in tissue engineering, including polyesters, polyanhydrides, polyphosphazenes, polyurethane, and poly (glycerol sebacate) are summarized in this article. New developments in conducting polymers, photoresponsive polymers, amino-acid-based polymers, enzymatically degradable polymers, and peptide-activated polymers are also discussed. In addition to chemical functionalization, the scaffold designs that mimic the nano and micro features of the extracellular matrix (ECM) are presented as well, and composite and nanocomposite scaffolds are also reviewed.

  6. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering. PMID:24709875

  7. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bor-Sen Chen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

  8. Systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-10-11

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

  9. A Synthetic Biology Approach to Engineering Living Photovoltaics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuergers, N; Werlang, C; Ajo-Franklin, C M; Boghossian, A A

    2017-05-01

    The ability to electronically interface living cells with electron accepting scaffolds is crucial for the development of next-generation biophotovoltaic technologies. Although recent studies have focused on engineering synthetic interfaces that can maximize electronic communication between the cell and scaffold, the efficiency of such devices is limited by the low conductivity of the cell membrane. This review provides a materials science perspective on applying a complementary, synthetic biology approach to engineering membrane-electrode interfaces. It focuses on the technical challenges behind the introduction of foreign extracellular electron transfer pathways in bacterial host cells and the past and future efforts to engineer photosynthetic organisms with artificial electron-export capabilities for biophotovoltaic applications. The article highlights advances in engineering protein-based, electron-exporting conduits in a model host organism, E. coli, before reviewing state-of-the-art biophotovoltaic technologies that use both unmodified and bioengineered photosynthetic bacteria with improved electron transport capabilities. A thermodynamic analysis is used to propose an energetically feasible pathway for extracellular electron transport in engineered cyanobacteria and identify metabolic bottlenecks amenable to protein engineering techniques. Based on this analysis, an engineered photosynthetic organism expressing a foreign, protein-based electron conduit yields a maximum theoretical solar conversion efficiency of 6-10% without accounting for additional bioengineering optimizations for light-harvesting.

  10. Synthetic RNAs for Gene Regulation: Design Principles and Computational Tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laganà, Alessandro; Shasha, Dennis; Croce, Carlo Maria

    2014-01-01

    The use of synthetic non-coding RNAs for post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression has not only become a standard laboratory tool for gene functional studies but it has also opened up new perspectives in the design of new and potentially promising therapeutic strategies. Bioinformatics has provided researchers with a variety of tools for the design, the analysis, and the evaluation of RNAi agents such as small-interfering RNA (siRNA), short-hairpin RNA (shRNA), artificial microRNA (a-miR), and microRNA sponges. More recently, a new system for genome engineering based on the bacterial CRISPR-Cas9 system (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats), was shown to have the potential to also regulate gene expression at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional level in a more specific way. In this mini review, we present RNAi and CRISPRi design principles and discuss the advantages and limitations of the current design approaches.

  11. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Michael K; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-02-01

    The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  12. Engineering genetic circuit interactions within and between synthetic minimal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamala, Katarzyna P.; Martin-Alarcon, Daniel A.; Guthrie-Honea, Katriona R.; Boyden, Edward S.

    2017-05-01

    Genetic circuits and reaction cascades are of great importance for synthetic biology, biochemistry and bioengineering. An open question is how to maximize the modularity of their design to enable the integration of different reaction networks and to optimize their scalability and flexibility. One option is encapsulation within liposomes, which enables chemical reactions to proceed in well-isolated environments. Here we adapt liposome encapsulation to enable the modular, controlled compartmentalization of genetic circuits and cascades. We demonstrate that it is possible to engineer genetic circuit-containing synthetic minimal cells (synells) to contain multiple-part genetic cascades, and that these cascades can be controlled by external signals as well as inter-liposomal communication without crosstalk. We also show that liposomes that contain different cascades can be fused in a controlled way so that the products of incompatible reactions can be brought together. Synells thus enable a more modular creation of synthetic biology cascades, an essential step towards their ultimate programmability.

  13. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voigt, Christopher [Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  14. A yeast synthetic network for in vivo assessment of reverse-engineering and modeling approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantone, Irene; Marucci, Lucia; Iorio, Francesco; Ricci, Maria Aurelia; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Bansal, Mukesh; Santini, Stefania; di Bernardo, Mario; di Bernardo, Diego; Cosma, Maria Pia

    2009-04-03

    Systems biology approaches are extensively used to model and reverse engineer gene regulatory networks from experimental data. Conversely, synthetic biology allows "de novo" construction of a regulatory network to seed new functions in the cell. At present, the usefulness and predictive ability of modeling and reverse engineering cannot be assessed and compared rigorously. We built in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae a synthetic network, IRMA, for in vivo "benchmarking" of reverse-engineering and modeling approaches. The network is composed of five genes regulating each other through a variety of regulatory interactions; it is negligibly affected by endogenous genes, and it is responsive to small molecules. We measured time series and steady-state expression data after multiple perturbations. These data were used to assess state-of-the-art modeling and reverse-engineering techniques. A semiquantitative model was able to capture and predict the behavior of the network. Reverse engineering based on differential equations and Bayesian networks correctly inferred regulatory interactions from the experimental data.

  15. Synthetic promoter libraries- tuning of gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hammer, Karin; Mijakovic, Ivan; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2006-01-01

    The study of gene function often requires changing the expression of a gene and evaluating the consequences. In principle, the expression of any given gene can be modulated in a quasi-continuum of discrete expression levels but the traditional approaches are usually limited to two extremes: gene...... be met by using promoter libraries. This approach generally consists of inserting a library of promoters in front of the gene to be studied, whereby the individual promoters might deviate either in their spacer sequences or bear slight deviations from the consensus sequence of a vegetative promoter. Here......, we describe the two different methods for obtaining promoter libraries and compare their applicability....

  16. Noise propagation in synthetic gene circuits for metabolic control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyarzún, Diego A; Lugagne, Jean-Baptiste; Stan, Guy-Bart V

    2015-02-20

    Dynamic control of enzyme expression can be an effective strategy to engineer robust metabolic pathways. It allows a synthetic pathway to self-regulate in response to changes in bioreactor conditions or the metabolic state of the host. The implementation of this regulatory strategy requires gene circuits that couple metabolic signals with the genetic machinery, which is known to be noisy and one of the main sources of cell-to-cell variability. One of the unexplored design aspects of these circuits is the propagation of biochemical noise between enzyme expression and pathway activity. In this article, we quantify the impact of a synthetic feedback circuit on the noise in a metabolic product in order to propose design criteria to reduce cell-to-cell variability. We consider a stochastic model of a catalytic reaction under negative feedback from the product to enzyme expression. On the basis of stochastic simulations and analysis, we show that, depending on the repression strength and promoter strength, transcriptional repression of enzyme expression can amplify or attenuate the noise in the number of product molecules. We obtain analytic estimates for the metabolic noise as a function of the model parameters and show that noise amplification/attenuation is a structural property of the model. We derive an analytic condition on the parameters that lead to attenuation of metabolic noise, suggesting that a higher promoter sensitivity enlarges the parameter design space. In the theoretical case of a switch-like promoter, our analysis reveals that the ability of the circuit to attenuate noise is subject to a trade-off between the repression strength and promoter strength.

  17. Genome-scale engineering for systems and synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esvelt, Kevin M; Wang, Harris H

    2013-01-01

    Genome-modification technologies enable the rational engineering and perturbation of biological systems. Historically, these methods have been limited to gene insertions or mutations at random or at a few pre-defined locations across the genome. The handful of methods capable of targeted gene editing suffered from low efficiencies, significant labor costs, or both. Recent advances have dramatically expanded our ability to engineer cells in a directed and combinatorial manner. Here, we review current technologies and methodologies for genome-scale engineering, discuss the prospects for extending efficient genome modification to new hosts, and explore the implications of continued advances toward the development of flexibly programmable chasses, novel biochemistries, and safer organismal and ecological engineering. PMID:23340847

  18. Synchronous long-term oscillations in a synthetic gene circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potvin-Trottier, Laurent; Lord, Nathan D; Vinnicombe, Glenn; Paulsson, Johan

    2016-10-27

    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.

  19. Annotating novel genes by integrating synthetic lethals and genomic information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faty Mahamadou

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large scale screening for synthetic lethality serves as a common tool in yeast genetics to systematically search for genes that play a role in specific biological processes. Often the amounts of data resulting from a single large scale screen far exceed the capacities of experimental characterization of every identified target. Thus, there is need for computational tools that select promising candidate genes in order to reduce the number of follow-up experiments to a manageable size. Results We analyze synthetic lethality data for arp1 and jnm1, two spindle migration genes, in order to identify novel members in this process. To this end, we use an unsupervised statistical method that integrates additional information from biological data sources, such as gene expression, phenotypic profiling, RNA degradation and sequence similarity. Different from existing methods that require large amounts of synthetic lethal data, our method merely relies on synthetic lethality information from two single screens. Using a Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Model, we determine the best subset of features that assign the target genes to two groups. The approach identifies a small group of genes as candidates involved in spindle migration. Experimental testing confirms the majority of our candidates and we present she1 (YBL031W as a novel gene involved in spindle migration. We applied the statistical methodology also to TOR2 signaling as another example. Conclusion We demonstrate the general use of Multivariate Gaussian Mixture Modeling for selecting candidate genes for experimental characterization from synthetic lethality data sets. For the given example, integration of different data sources contributes to the identification of genetic interaction partners of arp1 and jnm1 that play a role in the same biological process.

  20. Synthetic addiction extends the productive life time of engineered Escherichia coli populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rugbjerg, Peter; Sarup-Lytzen, Kira; Nagy, Mariann

    2018-01-01

    range of genetic variants that disrupt the biosynthetic capacity of the engineered organism. Synthetic product addiction that couples high-yield production of a desired metabolite to expression of nonconditionally essential genes could offer a solution to this problem by selectively favoring cells...... with biosynthetic capacity in the population without constraining the medium. We constructed such synthetic product addiction by controlling the expression of two nonconditionally essential genes with a mevalonic acid biosensor. The product-addicted production organism retained high-yield mevalonic acid production...... through 95 generations of cultivation, corresponding to the number of cell generations required for >200-m3 industrial-scale production, at which time the nonaddicted strain completely abolished production. Using deep DNA sequencing, we find that the product-addicted populations do not accumulate genetic...

  1. From essential to persistent genes: a functional approach to constructing synthetic life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G.; Fang, Gang; Schmidt, Markus

    2013-01-01

    A central undertaking in synthetic biology (SB) is the quest for the ‘minimal genome’. However, ‘minimal sets’ of essential genes are strongly context-dependent and, in all prokaryotic genomes sequenced to date, not a single protein-coding gene is entirely conserved. Furthermore, a lack of consen......A central undertaking in synthetic biology (SB) is the quest for the ‘minimal genome’. However, ‘minimal sets’ of essential genes are strongly context-dependent and, in all prokaryotic genomes sequenced to date, not a single protein-coding gene is entirely conserved. Furthermore, a lack...... for engineering cells and for creating cellular life-like forms in SB....

  2. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esensten, Jonathan H; Bluestone, Jeffrey A; Lim, Wendell A

    2017-01-24

    Engineered T cells are currently in clinical trials to treat patients with cancer, solid organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. However, the field is still in its infancy. The design, and manufacturing, of T cell therapies is not standardized and is performed mostly in academic settings by competing groups. Reliable methods to define dose and pharmacokinetics of T cell therapies need to be developed. As of mid-2016, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved T cell therapeutics on the market, and FDA regulations are only slowly adapting to the new technologies. Further development of engineered T cell therapies requires advances in immunology, synthetic biology, manufacturing processes, and government regulation. In this review, we outline some of these challenges and discuss the contributions that pathologists can make to this emerging field.

  3. Engineered Ribosomes for Basic Science and Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Aquino, Anne E; Kim, Do Soon; Jewett, Michael C

    2018-03-28

    The ribosome is the cell's factory for protein synthesis. With protein synthesis rates of up to 20 amino acids per second and at an accuracy of 99.99%, the extraordinary catalytic capacity of the bacterial translation machinery has attracted extensive efforts to engineer, reconstruct, and repurpose it for biochemical studies and novel functions. Despite these efforts, the potential for harnessing the translation apparatus to manufacture bio-based products beyond natural limits remains underexploited, and fundamental constraints on the chemistry that the ribosome's RNA-based active site can carry out are unknown. This review aims to cover the past and present advances in ribosome design and engineering to understand the fundamental biology of the ribosome to facilitate the construction of synthetic manufacturing machines. The prospects for the development of engineered, or designer, ribosomes for novel polymer synthesis are reviewed, future challenges are considered, and promising advances in a variety of applications are discusse Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Volume 9 is June 7, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  4. Gene composer: database software for protein construct design, codon engineering, and gene synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorimer, Don; Raymond, Amy; Walchli, John; Mixon, Mark; Barrow, Adrienne; Wallace, Ellen; Grice, Rena; Burgin, Alex; Stewart, Lance

    2009-04-21

    To improve efficiency in high throughput protein structure determination, we have developed a database software package, Gene Composer, which facilitates the information-rich design of protein constructs and their codon engineered synthetic gene sequences. With its modular workflow design and numerous graphical user interfaces, Gene Composer enables researchers to perform all common bio-informatics steps used in modern structure guided protein engineering and synthetic gene engineering. An interactive Alignment Viewer allows the researcher to simultaneously visualize sequence conservation in the context of known protein secondary structure, ligand contacts, water contacts, crystal contacts, B-factors, solvent accessible area, residue property type and several other useful property views. The Construct Design Module enables the facile design of novel protein constructs with altered N- and C-termini, internal insertions or deletions, point mutations, and desired affinity tags. The modifications can be combined and permuted into multiple protein constructs, and then virtually cloned in silico into defined expression vectors. The Gene Design Module uses a protein-to-gene algorithm that automates the back-translation of a protein amino acid sequence into a codon engineered nucleic acid gene sequence according to a selected codon usage table with minimal codon usage threshold, defined G:C% content, and desired sequence features achieved through synonymous codon selection that is optimized for the intended expression system. The gene-to-oligo algorithm of the Gene Design Module plans out all of the required overlapping oligonucleotides and mutagenic primers needed to synthesize the desired gene constructs by PCR, and for physically cloning them into selected vectors by the most popular subcloning strategies. We present a complete description of Gene Composer functionality, and an efficient PCR-based synthetic gene assembly procedure with mis-match specific endonuclease

  5. Gene Composer: database software for protein construct design, codon engineering, and gene synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mixon Mark

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To improve efficiency in high throughput protein structure determination, we have developed a database software package, Gene Composer, which facilitates the information-rich design of protein constructs and their codon engineered synthetic gene sequences. With its modular workflow design and numerous graphical user interfaces, Gene Composer enables researchers to perform all common bio-informatics steps used in modern structure guided protein engineering and synthetic gene engineering. Results An interactive Alignment Viewer allows the researcher to simultaneously visualize sequence conservation in the context of known protein secondary structure, ligand contacts, water contacts, crystal contacts, B-factors, solvent accessible area, residue property type and several other useful property views. The Construct Design Module enables the facile design of novel protein constructs with altered N- and C-termini, internal insertions or deletions, point mutations, and desired affinity tags. The modifications can be combined and permuted into multiple protein constructs, and then virtually cloned in silico into defined expression vectors. The Gene Design Module uses a protein-to-gene algorithm that automates the back-translation of a protein amino acid sequence into a codon engineered nucleic acid gene sequence according to a selected codon usage table with minimal codon usage threshold, defined G:C% content, and desired sequence features achieved through synonymous codon selection that is optimized for the intended expression system. The gene-to-oligo algorithm of the Gene Design Module plans out all of the required overlapping oligonucleotides and mutagenic primers needed to synthesize the desired gene constructs by PCR, and for physically cloning them into selected vectors by the most popular subcloning strategies. Conclusion We present a complete description of Gene Composer functionality, and an efficient PCR-based synthetic gene

  6. Rationally engineered synthetic coculture for improved biomass and product formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suvi Santala

    Full Text Available In microbial ecosystems, bacteria are dependent on dynamic interspecific interactions related to carbon and energy flow. Substrates and end-metabolites are rapidly converted to other compounds, which protects the community from high concentrations of inhibitory molecules. In biotechnological applications, pure cultures are preferred because of the more straight-forward metabolic engineering and bioprocess control. However, the accumulation of unwanted side products can limit the cell growth and process efficiency. In this study, a rationally engineered coculture with a carbon channeling system was constructed using two well-characterized model strains Escherichia coli K12 and Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1. The directed carbon flow resulted in efficient acetate removal, and the coculture showed symbiotic nature in terms of substrate utilization and growth. Recombinant protein production was used as a proof-of-principle example to demonstrate the coculture utility and the effects on product formation. As a result, the biomass and recombinant protein titers of E. coli were enhanced in both minimal and rich medium simple batch cocultures. Finally, harnessing both the strains to the production resulted in enhanced recombinant protein titers. The study demonstrates the potential of rationally engineered cocultures for synthetic biology applications.

  7. Engineering the robustness of industrial microbes through synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Linjiang; Zhu, Yan; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2012-02-01

    Microbial fermentations and bioconversions play a central role in the production of pharmaceuticals, enzymes and chemicals. To meet the demands of industrial production, it is desirable that microbes maintain a maximized carbon flux towards target metabolites regardless of fluctuations in intracellular or extracellular environments. This requires cellular systems that maintain functional stability and dynamic homeostasis in a given physiological state, or manipulate transitions between different physiological states. Stable maintenance or smooth transition can be achieved through engineering of dynamic controllability, modular and hierarchical organization, or functional redundancy, three key features of biological robustness in a cellular system. This review summarizes how synthetic biology can be used to improve the robustness of industrial microbes. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The future of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology: towards a systematic practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Vikramaditya G; De Mey, Marjan; Lim, Chin Giaw; Ajikumar, Parayil Kumaran; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-05-01

    Industrial biotechnology promises to revolutionize conventional chemical manufacturing in the years ahead, largely owing to the excellent progress in our ability to re-engineer cellular metabolism. However, most successes of metabolic engineering have been confined to over-producing natively synthesized metabolites in E. coli and S. cerevisiae. A major reason for this development has been the descent of metabolic engineering, particularly secondary metabolic engineering, to a collection of demonstrations rather than a systematic practice with generalizable tools. Synthetic biology, a more recent development, faces similar criticisms. Herein, we attempt to lay down a framework around which bioreaction engineering can systematize itself just like chemical reaction engineering. Central to this undertaking is a new approach to engineering secondary metabolism known as 'multivariate modular metabolic engineering' (MMME), whose novelty lies in its assessment and elimination of regulatory and pathway bottlenecks by re-defining the metabolic network as a collection of distinct modules. After introducing the core principles of MMME, we shall then present a number of recent developments in secondary metabolic engineering that could potentially serve as its facilitators. It is hoped that the ever-declining costs of de novo gene synthesis; the improved use of bioinformatic tools to mine, sort and analyze biological data; and the increasing sensitivity and sophistication of investigational tools will make the maturation of microbial metabolic engineering an autocatalytic process. Encouraged by these advances, research groups across the world would take up the challenge of secondary metabolite production in simple hosts with renewed vigor, thereby adding to the range of products synthesized using metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Engineering Synthetic Signaling Pathways with Programmable dCas9-Based Chimeric Receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toni A. Baeumler

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic receptors provide a powerful experimental tool for generation of designer cells capable of monitoring the environment, sensing specific input signals, and executing diverse custom response programs. To advance the promise of cellular engineering, we have developed a class of chimeric receptors that integrate a highly programmable and portable nuclease-deficient CRISPR/Cas9 (dCas9 signal transduction module. We demonstrate that the core dCas9 synthetic receptor (dCas9-synR architecture can be readily adapted to various classes of native ectodomain scaffolds, linking their natural inputs with orthogonal output functions. Importantly, these receptors achieved stringent OFF/ON state transition characteristics, showed agonist-mediated dose-dependent activation, and could be programmed to couple specific disease markers with diverse, therapeutically relevant multi-gene expression circuits. The modular dCas9-synR platform developed here provides a generalizable blueprint for designing next generations of synthetic receptors, which will enable the implementation of highly complex combinatorial functions in cellular engineering.

  10. De Novo Metabolic Engineering and the Promise of Synthetic DNA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein-Marcuschamer, Daniel; Yadav, Vikramaditya G.; Ghaderi, Adel; Stephanopoulos, Gregory N.

    The uncertain price and tight supply of crude oil and the ever-increasing demand for clean energy have prompted heightened attention to the development of sustainable fuel technologies that ensure continued economic development while maintaining stewardship of the environment. In the face of these enormous challenges, biomass has emerged as a viable alternative to petroleum for the production of energy, chemicals, and materials owing to its abundance, inexpensiveness, and carbon-neutrality. Moreover, the immense ease and efficiency of biological systems at converting biomass-derived feedstocks into fuels, chemicals, and materials has generated renewed interest in biotechnology as a replacement for traditional chemical processes. Aided by the ever-expanding repertoire of microbial genetics and plant biotechnology, improved understanding of gene regulation and cellular metabolism, and incessantly accumulating gene and protein data, scientists are now contemplating engineering microbial cell factories to produce fuels, chemical feedstocks, polymers and pharmaceuticals in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. This goal resonates with that of metabolic engineering - the improvement of cellular properties through the intelligent design, rational modification, or directed evolution of biochemical pathways, and arguably, metabolic engineering seems best positioned to achieve the concomittant goals of environmental stewardship and economic prolificity.

  11. Teaching synthetic biology, bioinformatics and engineering to undergraduates: the interdisciplinary Build-a-Genome course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dymond, Jessica S; Scheifele, Lisa Z; Richardson, Sarah; Lee, Pablo; Chandrasegaran, Srinivasan; Bader, Joel S; Boeke, Jef D

    2009-01-01

    A major challenge in undergraduate life science curricula is the continual evaluation and development of courses that reflect the constantly shifting face of contemporary biological research. Synthetic biology offers an excellent framework within which students may participate in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and is therefore an attractive addition to the undergraduate biology curriculum. This new discipline offers the promise of a deeper understanding of gene function, gene order, and chromosome structure through the de novo synthesis of genetic information, much as synthetic approaches informed organic chemistry. While considerable progress has been achieved in the synthesis of entire viral and prokaryotic genomes, fabrication of eukaryotic genomes requires synthesis on a scale that is orders of magnitude higher. These high-throughput but labor-intensive projects serve as an ideal way to introduce undergraduates to hands-on synthetic biology research. We are pursuing synthesis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromosomes in an undergraduate laboratory setting, the Build-a-Genome course, thereby exposing students to the engineering of biology on a genomewide scale while focusing on a limited region of the genome. A synthetic chromosome III sequence was designed, ordered from commercial suppliers in the form of oligonucleotides, and subsequently assembled by students into approximately 750-bp fragments. Once trained in assembly of such DNA "building blocks" by PCR, the students accomplish high-yield gene synthesis, becoming not only technically proficient but also constructively critical and capable of adapting their protocols as independent researchers. Regular "lab meeting" sessions help prepare them for future roles in laboratory science.

  12. Computational Tools and Algorithms for Designing Customized Synthetic Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan eGould

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Advances in DNA synthesis have enabled the construction of artificial genes, gene circuits, and genomes of bacterial scale. Freedom in de-novo design of synthetic constructs provides significant power in studying the impact of mutations in sequence features, and verifying hypotheses on the functional information that is encoded in nucleic and amino acids. To aid this goal, a large number of software tools of variable sophistication have been implemented, enabling the design of synthetic genes for sequence optimization based on rationally defined properties. The first generation of tools dealt predominantly with singular objectives such as codon usage optimization and unique restriction site incorporation. Recent years have seen the emergence of sequence design tools that aim to evolve sequences toward combinations of objectives. The design of optimal protein coding sequences adhering to multiple objectives is computationally hard, and most tools rely on heuristics to sample the vast sequence design space. In this review we study some of the algorithmic issues behind gene optimization and the approaches that different tools have adopted to redesign genes and optimize desired coding features. We utilize test cases to demonstrate the efficiency of each approach, as well as identify their strengths and limitations.

  13. Engineering of synthetic, stress-responsive yeast promoters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rajkumar, Arun Stephen; Liu, Guodong; Bergenholm, David

    2016-01-01

    Advances in synthetic biology and our understanding of the rules of promoter architecture have led to the development of diverse synthetic constitutive and inducible promoters in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. However, the design of promoters inducibleby specific endogenous or environmental conditions...

  14. Evaluation of synthetic zeolite as engineering passive permeable reactive barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibrahim, O.A.A.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of toxic pollutants in groundwater brings about significant changes in the properties of water resources and has to be avoided in order to preserve the environmental quality. Heavy metals are among the most dangerous inorganic water pollutants, that related to many anthropogenic sources and their compounds are extremely toxic. The treatment of contaminated groundwater is among the most difficult and expensive environmental problems. Over the past years, permeable reactive barriers have provided an increasingly important role in the passive insitu treatment of contaminated groundwater. There are a large number of materials that are able to immobilize contaminants by sorption, including granulated active carbon, zeolite, montmorillonite, peat, compost, sawdust, etc. Zeolite X is a synthetic counterpart of the naturally occurring mineral Faujasite. It has one of the largest cavities and cavity entrances of any known zeolites. The main aim of this work is to examine the possibility of using synthetic zeolite X as an engineering permeable reactive barrier to remove heavy metals from a contaminated groundwater. Within this context, the following investigations were carried out: 1. Review on the materials most commonly used as engineered permeable reactive barriers to identify the important features to be considered in the examination of the proposed permeable reactive barrier material (zeolite X). 2. Synthesis of zeolite X and characterization of the synthesized material using different techniques. 3. Batch tests were carried out to characterize the equilibrium and kinetic sorption properties of the synthesized zeolite X towards the concerned heavy metals; zinc and cadmium ions. 4. Column tests were also performed to determine the design factors for permeable reactive barrier against zinc and cadmium ions solutions.Breakthrough curves measured in such experiments used to determine the hydrodynamic dispersion coefficients for both metal ions. 5. Analytical

  15. The mismeasure of machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudry, Maarten; Pigliucci, Massimo

    2013-12-01

    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the "blueprint" of an organism, organisms are "reverse engineered" to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the analogy with human-made machines falters when we move down to the level of molecular biology and genetics. Living organisms are far more messy and less transparent than human-made machines. Notoriously, evolution is an opportunistic tinkerer, blindly stumbling on "designs" that no sensible engineer would come up with. Despite impressive technological innovation, the prospect of artificially designing new life forms from scratch has proven more difficult than the superficial analogy with "programming" the right "software" would suggest. The idea of applying straightforward engineering approaches to living systems and their genomes-isolating functional components, designing new parts from scratch, recombining and assembling them into novel life forms-pushes the analogy with human artifacts beyond its limits. In the absence of a one-to-one correspondence between genotype and phenotype, there is no straightforward way to implement novel biological functions and design new life forms. Both the developmental complexity of gene expression and the multifarious interactions of genes and environments are serious obstacles for "engineering" a particular phenotype. The problem of reverse-engineering a desired phenotype to its genetic "instructions" is probably intractable for any but the most simple phenotypes. Recent developments in the field of bio-engineering and synthetic biology reflect these

  16. ELECTROOXIDATION OF USED SYNTHETIC ENGINE OIL IN AQUEOUS SOLUTION OF H2SO4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paweł Piotr Włodarczyk

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents possibility of using used synthetic engine oil to direct electricity production. The measurements conducted in the temperature range 293-333 K. Were measured electrooxidation of used synthetic engine oil emulsion on a smooth platinum electrode in an aqueous solution of H2SO4. The emulsion prepared on the basis of a nonionic surfactant Syntanol DS-10. The maximum current density reached the level of 22 mA/cm2 (temp. 333 K. Measurements shows possibility of direct electricity production from used synthetic engine oil emulsion, so powering fuel cell of this oil.

  17. Synthetic biology toolbox for controlling gene expression in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markley, Andrew L; Begemann, Matthew B; Clarke, Ryan E; Gordon, Gina C; Pfleger, Brian F

    2015-05-15

    The application of synthetic biology requires characterized tools to precisely control gene expression. This toolbox of genetic parts previously did not exist for the industrially promising cyanobacterium, Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. To address this gap, two orthogonal constitutive promoter libraries, one based on a cyanobacterial promoter and the other ported from Escherichia coli, were built and tested in PCC 7002. The libraries demonstrated 3 and 2.5 log dynamic ranges, respectively, but correlated poorly with E. coli expression levels. These promoter libraries were then combined to create and optimize a series of IPTG inducible cassettes. The resultant induction system had a 48-fold dynamic range and was shown to out-perform Ptrc constructs. Finally, a RBS library was designed and tested in PCC 7002. The presented synthetic biology toolbox will enable accelerated engineering of PCC 7002.

  18. Synthetic RNA switches as a tool for temporal and spatial control over gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Andrew L; Wolf, Joshua J; Smolke, Christina D

    2012-10-01

    The engineering of biological systems offers significant promise for advances in areas including health and medicine, chemical synthesis, energy production, and environmental sustainability. Realizing this potential requires tools that enable design of sophisticated genetic systems. The functional diversity of RNA makes it an attractive and versatile substrate for programming sensing, information processing, computation, and control functions. Recent advances in the design of synthetic RNA switches capable of detecting and responding to molecular and environmental signals enable dynamic modulation of gene expression through diverse mechanisms, including transcription, splicing, stability, RNA interference, and translation. Furthermore, implementation of these switches in genetic circuits highlights the potential for building synthetic cell systems targeted to applications in environmental remediation and next-generation therapeutics and diagnostics. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Experiential Engineering through iGEM--An Undergraduate Summer Competition in Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.

    2011-01-01

    Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009,…

  20. Engineering synthetic bacterial consortia for enhanced desulfurization and revalorization of oil sulfur compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Igor; Mohamed, Magdy El-Said; Rozas, Daniel; García, José Luis; Díaz, Eduardo

    2016-05-01

    The 4S pathway is the most studied bioprocess for the removal of the recalcitrant sulfur of aromatic heterocycles present in fuels. It consists of three sequential functional units, encoded by the dszABCD genes, through which the model compound dibenzothiophene (DBT) is transformed into the sulfur-free 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2HBP) molecule. In this work, a set of synthetic dsz cassettes were implanted in Pseudomonas putida KT2440, a model bacterial "chassis" for metabolic engineering studies. The complete dszB1A1C1-D1 cassette behaved as an attractive alternative - to the previously constructed recombinant dsz cassettes - for the conversion of DBT into 2HBP. Refactoring the 4S pathway by the use of synthetic dsz modules encoding individual 4S pathway reactions revealed unanticipated traits, e.g., the 4S intermediate 2HBP-sulfinate (HBPS) behaves as an inhibitor of the Dsz monooxygenases, and once secreted from the cells it cannot be further taken up. That issue should be addressed for the rational design of more efficient biocatalysts for DBT bioconversions. In this sense, the construction of synthetic bacterial consortia to compartmentalize the 4S pathway into different cell factories for individual optimization was shown to enhance the conversion of DBT into 2HBP, overcome the inhibition of the Dsz enzymes by the 4S intermediates, and enable efficient production of unattainable high added value intermediates, e.g., HBPS, that are difficult to obtain using the current monocultures. Copyright © 2016 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Efficient engineering of marker-free synthetic allotetraploids of Saccharomyces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, William G; Peris, David; Pfannenstiel, Brandon T; Opulente, Dana A; Kuang, Meihua; Hittinger, Chris Todd

    2016-04-01

    Saccharomyces interspecies hybrids are critical biocatalysts in the fermented beverage industry, including in the production of lager beers, Belgian ales, ciders, and cold-fermented wines. Current methods for making synthetic interspecies hybrids are cumbersome and/or require genome modifications. We have developed a simple, robust, and efficient method for generating allotetraploid strains of prototrophic Saccharomyces without sporulation or nuclear genome manipulation. S. cerevisiae×S. eubayanus, S. cerevisiae×S. kudriavzevii, and S. cerevisiae×S. uvarum designer hybrid strains were created as synthetic lager, Belgian, and cider strains, respectively. The ploidy and hybrid nature of the strains were confirmed using flow cytometry and PCR-RFLP analysis, respectively. This method provides an efficient means for producing novel synthetic hybrids for beverage and biofuel production, as well as for constructing tetraploids to be used for basic research in evolutionary genetics and genome stability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Engineered CRISPR Systems for Next Generation Gene Therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Michael; Moghadam, Farzaneh; Ebrahimkhani, Mo R; Kiani, Samira

    2017-09-15

    An ideal in vivo gene therapy platform provides safe, reprogrammable, and precise strategies which modulate cell and tissue gene regulatory networks with a high temporal and spatial resolution. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), a bacterial adoptive immune system, and its CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9), have gained attention for the ability to target and modify DNA sequences on demand with unprecedented flexibility and precision. The precision and programmability of Cas9 is derived from its complexation with a guide-RNA (gRNA) that is complementary to a desired genomic sequence. CRISPR systems open-up widespread applications including genetic disease modeling, functional screens, and synthetic gene regulation. The plausibility of in vivo genetic engineering using CRISPR has garnered significant traction as a next generation in vivo therapeutic. However, there are hurdles that need to be addressed before CRISPR-based strategies are fully implemented. Some key issues center on the controllability of the CRISPR platform, including minimizing genomic-off target effects and maximizing in vivo gene editing efficiency, in vivo cellular delivery, and spatial-temporal regulation. The modifiable components of CRISPR systems: Cas9 protein, gRNA, delivery platform, and the form of CRISPR system delivered (DNA, RNA, or ribonucleoprotein) have recently been engineered independently to design a better genome engineering toolbox. This review focuses on evaluating CRISPR potential as a next generation in vivo gene therapy platform and discusses bioengineering advancements that can address challenges associated with clinical translation of this emerging technology.

  3. Improving magnetic properties of MgB{sub 2} bulk superconductors by synthetic engine oil treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taylan Koparan, E., E-mail: etaylan20@gmail.com [Department of Science Education, Eregli Faculty of Education, Bulent Ecevit University, TR-67300, Zonguldak (Turkey); Savaskan, B. [Energy Systems Engineering, Faculty of Technology, Karadeniz Technical University, 61830, Of, Trabzon (Turkey); Yanmaz, E. [Department of Mechatronics, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, İstanbul Gelişim University, İstanbul (Turkey)

    2016-08-15

    Highlights: • The effects of synthetic engine oil treatment on magnetic properties of bulk MgB{sub 2} superconductors has been first time investigated and reported. • Synthetic engine oil used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source obviously has improved the superconducting magnetic properties of MgB{sub 2}. • The critical current density of all of MgB{sub 2} samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range has been better than that of the pure MgB{sub 2} sample. • The MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. - Abstract: The present study focuses on the effects of standby time of the MgB{sub 2} samples immersed in synthetic engine oil on the critical current density ( J{sub c}(H)), magnetic field dependence of the pinning force density f{sub p}(b) and T{sub c} performances of MgB{sub 2} bulk superconductors. Synthetic engine oil was used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source. Manufactured MgB{sub 2} pellet samples were immersed at different standby time of 30 min, 120 min, 300 min and 1440 min in synthetic engine oil after the first heating process. Finally, MgB{sub 2} samples immersed in synthetic engine oil were sintered at 1000 °C and kept for 15 min in Ar atmosphere. The critical current density of all of MgB{sub 2} samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range was better than that of the pure MgB{sub 2} sample because of the number of the pinning centers. The MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. The J{sub c} value for the pure sample is 2.0 × 10{sup 3} A/cm{sup 2}, whereas for the MgB{sub 2} sample immersed at 300 min standby time in engine oil the J{sub c} is enhanced to 4.8 × 10{sup 3} A/cm{sup 2} at 5 K and 3 T. The superconducting transition temperature (T{sub c}) did not change

  4. Reverse engineering transcriptional gene networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belcastro, Vincenzo; di Bernardo, Diego

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this chapter is a step-by-step guide on how to infer gene networks from gene expression profiles. The definition of a gene network is given in Subheading 1, where the different types of networks are discussed. The chapter then guides the readers through a data-gathering process in order to build a compendium of gene expression profiles from a public repository. Gene expression profiles are then discretized and a statistical relationship between genes, called mutual information (MI), is computed. Gene pairs with insignificant MI scores are then discarded by applying one of the described pruning steps. The retained relationships are then used to build up a Boolean adjacency matrix used as input for a clustering algorithm to divide the network into modules (or communities). The gene network can then be used as a hypothesis generator for discovering gene function and analyzing gene signatures. Some case studies are presented, and an online web-tool called Netview is described.

  5. Production of transgenic brassica juncea with the synthetic chitinase gene (nic) conferring resistance to alternaria brassicicola

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Munir, I.; Hussan, W.; Kazi, M.; Mian, A.

    2016-01-01

    Brassica juncea is an important oil seed crop throughout the world. The demand and cultivation of oil seed crops has gained importance due to rapid increase in world population and industrialization. Fungal diseases pose a great threat to Brassica productivity worldwide. Absence of resistance genes against fungal infection within crossable germplasms of this crop necessitates deployment of genetic engineering approaches to produce transgenic plants with resistance against fungal infections. In the current study, hypocotyls and cotyledons of Brassica juncea, used as explants, were transformed with Agrobacterium tumefacien strain EHA101 harboring binary vector pEKB/NIC containing synthetic chitinase gene (NIC), an antifungal gene under the control of cauliflower mosaic virus promoter (CaMV35S). Bar genes and nptII gene were used as selectable markers. Presence of chitinase gene in trangenic lines was confirmed by PCR and southern blotting analysis. Effect of the extracted proteins from non-transgenic and transgenic lines was observed on the growth of Alternaria brassicicola, a common disease causing pathogen in brassica crop. In comparison to non-transgenic control lines, the leaf tissue extracts of the transgenic lines showed considerable resistance and antifungal activity against A. brassicicola. The antifungal activity in transgenic lines was observed as corresponding to the transgene copy number. (author)

  6. Mechanistically Consistent Reduced Models of Synthetic Gene Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mier-y-Terán-Romero, Luis; Silber, Mary; Hatzimanikatis, Vassily

    2013-01-01

    Designing genetic networks with desired functionalities requires an accurate mathematical framework that accounts for the essential mechanistic details of the system. Here, we formulate a time-delay model of protein translation and mRNA degradation by systematically reducing a detailed mechanistic model that explicitly accounts for the ribosomal dynamics and the cleaving of mRNA by endonucleases. We exploit various technical and conceptual advantages that our time-delay model offers over the mechanistic model to probe the behavior of a self-repressing gene over wide regions of parameter space. We show that a heuristic time-delay model of protein synthesis of a commonly used form yields a notably different prediction for the parameter region where sustained oscillations occur. This suggests that such heuristics can lead to erroneous results. The functional forms that arise from our systematic reduction can be used for every system that involves transcription and translation and they could replace the commonly used heuristic time-delay models for these processes. The results from our analysis have important implications for the design of synthetic gene networks and stress that such design must be guided by a combination of heuristic models and mechanistic models that include all relevant details of the process. PMID:23663853

  7. Review of Microfluidic Photobioreactor Technology for Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology of Cyanobacteria and Microalgae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya-Tang Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available One goal of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and microalgae is to engineer strains that can optimally produce biofuels and commodity chemicals. However, the current workflow is slow and labor intensive with respect to assembly of genetic parts and characterization of production yields because of the slow growth rates of these organisms. Here, we review recent progress in the microfluidic photobioreactors and identify opportunities and unmet needs in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Because of the unprecedented experimental resolution down to the single cell level, long-term real-time monitoring capability, and high throughput with low cost, microfluidic photobioreactor technology will be an indispensible tool to speed up the development process, advance fundamental knowledge, and realize the full potential of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and microalgae.

  8. Role of Synthetic and Dimensional Synthetic Organic Chemistry in Block Copolymer Micelle Nanosensor Engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ek, Pramod Kumar

    or comicellisation strategy. In this approach, the amphiphilic triblock copolymers synthesized by ATRP were further modified, and conjugated with targeting ligands and fluorophores. The co-micellisation of this functionalized amphiphilic triblock copolymers resulted in functionalized mixed micelle nanosensors. Post......-shellcorona micelle based ratiometric fluorescence pH nanosensor fabrications. Two synthetic strategies such as post micelle modification and mixed micellisation (co-micellisation) were employed for pH nanosensor synthesis. In the post micelle modification strategy, dimensional synthetic modifications on polymer...... synthesized with sensitivity ranges that were appropriate for pH measurements in living cells. The sensitivity ranges of the nanosensors were simply altered by changing the fluorophores conjugated to the shell region. Nanosensors having targeting capabilities were synthesized by mixed micellisation...

  9. Protein engineering techniques gateways to synthetic protein universe

    CERN Document Server

    Poluri, Krishna Mohan

    2017-01-01

    This brief provides a broad overview of protein-engineering research, offering a glimpse of the most common experimental methods. It also presents various computational programs with applications that are widely used in directed evolution, computational and de novo protein design. Further, it sheds light on the advantages and pitfalls of existing methodologies and future perspectives of protein engineering techniques.

  10. Cell-Free Synthetic Biology: Engineering Beyond the Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, Jessica G; Stark, Jessica C; Jewett, Michael C

    2016-12-01

    Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) technologies have enabled inexpensive and rapid recombinant protein expression. Numerous highly active CFPS platforms are now available and have recently been used for synthetic biology applications. In this review, we focus on the ability of CFPS to expand our understanding of biological systems and its applications in the synthetic biology field. First, we outline a variety of CFPS platforms that provide alternative and complementary methods for expressing proteins from different organisms, compared with in vivo approaches. Next, we review the types of proteins, protein complexes, and protein modifications that have been achieved using CFPS systems. Finally, we introduce recent work on genetic networks in cell-free systems and the use of cell-free systems for rapid prototyping of in vivo networks. Given the flexibility of cell-free systems, CFPS holds promise to be a powerful tool for synthetic biology as well as a protein production technology in years to come. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  11. Future Combustion Technology for Synthetic and Renewable Fuels in Compression Ignition Engines (REFUEL) - Final report

    OpenAIRE

    Aakko-Saksa, Päivi; Brink, Anders; Happonen, Matti; Heikkilä, Juha; Hulkkonen, Tuomo; Imperato, Matteo; Kaario, Ossi; Koponen, Päivi; Larmi, Martti; Lehto, Kalle; Murtonen, Timo; Sarjovaara, Teemu; Tilli, Aki; Väisänen, Esa

    2012-01-01

    This domestic project, Future Combustion Technology for Synthetic and Renewable Fuels in Compression Ignition Engines (ReFuel), was part of a Collaborative Task "Future Combustion Technology for Synthetic and Renewable Fuels in Transport" of International Energy Agency (IEA) Combustion Agreement. This international Collaborative Task is coordinated by Finland. The three-year (2009-2011) project was a joint research project with Aalto University (Aalto), Tampere University of Technology (TUT)...

  12. Reverse engineering large-scale genetic networks: synthetic versus ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The study illustrates that connections of gene networks can be significantly detected via SWNI with high confidence, when single gene perturbation experiments are performed complying with the algorithm requirements. In particular, our algorithm shows efficiency and outperforms the existing ones presented in this paper ...

  13. Reverse engineering large-scale genetic networks: synthetic versus

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Development of microarray technology has resulted in an exponential rise in gene expression data. Linear computational methods are of great assistance in identifying molecular interactions, and elucidating the functional properties of gene networks. It overcomes the weaknesses of in vivo experiments including high cost, ...

  14. Engineering synthetic vaccines using cues from natural immunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, Darrell J.; Swartz, Melody A.; Szeto, Gregory L.

    2013-11-01

    Vaccines aim to protect against or treat diseases through manipulation of the immune response, promoting either immunity or tolerance. In the former case, vaccines generate antibodies and T cells poised to protect against future pathogen encounter or attack diseased cells such as tumours; in the latter case, which is far less developed, vaccines block pathogenic autoreactive T cells and autoantibodies that target self tissue. Enormous challenges remain, however, as a consequence of our incomplete understanding of human immunity. A rapidly growing field of research is the design of vaccines based on synthetic materials to target organs, tissues, cells or intracellular compartments; to co-deliver immunomodulatory signals that control the quality of the immune response; or to act directly as immune regulators. There exists great potential for well-defined materials to further our understanding of immunity. Here we describe recent advances in the design of synthetic materials to direct immune responses, highlighting successes and challenges in prophylactic, therapeutic and tolerance-inducing vaccines.

  15. Reverse engineering large-scale genetic networks: synthetic versus ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2010-04-19

    generating automata, Chen (2004) designed an alternative model which regards each gene as an automaton .... tifying the variable k, and the second one is identifying k, out of N regulatory inputs. Unfortunately, the strategy of regu-.

  16. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    is not a viable option. Reducing gene expression in a static fashion is possible, but this solution ignores the metabolic demand needed for...removed include 118 of unassigned function, 73 involved in mobile elements and DNA modification and restriction, 66 lipoprotein genes, as well as 73...Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom The ability to take up mineral nutrients, particularly nitro - gen and phosphorus, is generally the major limitation

  17. A combinatorial approach to synthetic transcription factor-promoter combinations for yeast strain engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dossani, Zain Y.; Apel, Amanda Reider; Szmidt-Middleton, Heather

    2018-01-01

    . Correspondingly, the synthetic transcription factor (TF) consists of the DNA binding domain of the LexA protein, fused with the human estrogen binding domain and the viral activator domain, VP16. The resulting system with a bacterial DNA binding domain avoids the transcription of native S. cerevisiae genes...... regions, we have built a library of hybrid promoters that are regulated by a synthetic transcription factor. The hybrid promoters consist of native S. cerevisiae promoters, in which the operator regions have been replaced with sequences that are recognized by the bacterial LexA DNA binding protein...... levels, using the same synthetic TF and a given estradiol. This set of promoters, in combination with our synthetic TF, has the potential to regulate numerous genes or pathways simultaneously, to multiple desired levels, in a single strain....

  18. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason R. King

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents.

  19. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Jason R.; Edgar, Steven; Qiao, Kangjian; Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective, we highlight recent examples and trends in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology that demonstrate the synthetic potential of enzyme and pathway engineering for natural product discovery. In doing so, we introduce natural paradigms of secondary metabolism whereby simple carbon substrates are combined into complex molecules through “scaffold diversification”, and subsequent “derivatization” of these scaffolds is used to synthesize distinct complex natural products. We provide examples in which modern pathway engineering efforts including combinatorial biosynthesis and biological retrosynthesis can be coupled to directed enzyme evolution and rational enzyme engineering to allow access to the “privileged” chemical space of natural products in industry-proven microbes. Finally, we forecast the potential to produce natural product-like discovery platforms in biological systems that are amenable to single-step discovery, validation, and synthesis for streamlined discovery and production of biologically active agents. PMID:27081481

  20. Metabolic Engineering for Production of Biorenewable Fuels and Chemicals: Contributions of Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura R. Jarboe

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Production of fuels and chemicals through microbial fermentation of plant material is a desirable alternative to petrochemical-based production. Fermentative production of biorenewable fuels and chemicals requires the engineering of biocatalysts that can quickly and efficiently convert sugars to target products at a cost that is competitive with existing petrochemical-based processes. It is also important that biocatalysts be robust to extreme fermentation conditions, biomass-derived inhibitors, and their target products. Traditional metabolic engineering has made great advances in this area, but synthetic biology has contributed and will continue to contribute to this field, particularly with next-generation biofuels. This work reviews the use of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology in biocatalyst engineering for biorenewable fuels and chemicals production, such as ethanol, butanol, acetate, lactate, succinate, alanine, and xylitol. We also examine the existing challenges in this area and discuss strategies for improving biocatalyst tolerance to chemical inhibitors.

  1. Malignancy of Cancers and Synthetic Lethal Interactions Associated With Mutations of Cancer Driver Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaosheng; Zhang, Yue; Han, Ze-Guang; He, Kun-Yan

    2016-02-01

    The mutation status of cancer driver genes may correlate with different degrees of malignancy of cancers. The doubling time and multidrug resistance are 2 phenotypes that reflect the degree of malignancy of cancer cells. Because most of cancer driver genes are hard to target, identification of their synthetic lethal partners might be a viable approach to treatment of the cancers with the relevant mutations.The genome-wide screening for synthetic lethal partners is costly and labor intensive. Thus, a computational approach facilitating identification of candidate genes for a focus synthetic lethal RNAi screening will accelerate novel anticancer drug discovery.We used several publicly available cancer cell lines and tumor tissue genomic data in this study.We compared the doubling time and multidrug resistance between the NCI-60 cell lines with mutations in some cancer driver genes and those without the mutations. We identified some candidate synthetic lethal genes to the cancer driver genes APC, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, and TP53 by comparison of their gene phenotype values in cancer cell lines with the relevant mutations and wild-type background. Further, we experimentally validated some of the synthetic lethal relationships we predicted.We reported that mutations in some cancer driver genes mutations in some cancer driver genes such as APC, KRAS, or PIK3CA might correlate with cancer proliferation or drug resistance. We identified 40, 21, 5, 43, and 18 potential synthetic lethal genes to APC, KRAS, BRAF, PIK3CA, and TP53, respectively. We found that some of the potential synthetic lethal genes show significantly higher expression in the cancers with mutations of their synthetic lethal partners and the wild-type counterparts. Further, our experiments confirmed several synthetic lethal relationships that are novel findings by our methods.We experimentally validated a part of the synthetic lethal relationships we predicted. We plan to perform further experiments to validate

  2. Novel bio-synthetic hybrid materials and coculture systems for musculoskeletal tissue engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyeseung Janice

    Tissue Engineering is a truly exciting field of this age, trying to regenerate and repair impaired tissues. Unlike the old artificial implants, tissue engineering aims at making a long-term functional biological replacement. One strategy for such tissue engineering requires the following three components: cells, scaffolds, and soluble factors. Cells are cultured in a three-dimensional (3D) scaffold with medium containing various soluble factors. Once a tissue is developed in vitro, then it is implanted in vivo. The overall goal of this thesis was to develop novel bio-synthetic hybrid scaffolds and coculture system for musculoskeletal tissue engineering. The most abundant cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM) components are collagen and glycosaminoglycan (GAG), which are the natural scaffold for chondrocytes. As two different peptides, collagen mimetic peptide (CMP) and hyaluronic acid binding peptide (HABPep) were previously shown to bind to collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA) of GAG, respectively, it was hypothesized that immobilizing CMP and HABP on 3D scaffold would results in an interaction between ECM components and synthetic scaffolds via peptide-ECM bindings. CMP or HABPep-conjugated photopolymerizable poly(ethylene oxide) diacrylate (PEODA) hydrogels were synthesized and shown to retain encapsulated collagen or HA, respectively. This result supported that conjugated CMP and HABPep can interact with collagen and HA, respectively, and can serve as biological linkers in 3D synthetic hydrogels. When chondrocytes or mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) were seeded, cells in CMP-conjugated scaffolds produced significantly more amount of type II collagen and GAG, compared to those in control scaffolds. Moreover, MSCs cultured in CMP-conjugated scaffolds exhibited lower level of hypertrophic markers, cbfa-1 and type X collagen. These results demonstrated that enhanced interaction between collagen and scaffold via CMP improves chondrogenesis of chondrocytes and MSCs and

  3. Engineered superlattices with crossover from decoupled to synthetic ferromagnetic behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopdekar, Rajesh V.; Malik, Vivek K.; Kane, Alexander M.; Mehta, Apurva; Arenholz, Elke; Takamura, Yayoi

    2018-01-01

    The extent of interfacial charge transfer and the resulting impact on magnetic interactions were investigated as a function of sublayer thickness in La0.7Sr0.3MnO3/La0.7Sr0.3CoO3 ferromagnetic superlattices. Element-specific soft x-ray magnetic spectroscopy reveals that the electronic structure is altered within 5–6 unit cells of the chemical interface, and can lead to a synthetic ferromagnet with strong magnetic coupling between the sublayers. The saturation magnetization and coercivity depends sensitively on the sublayer thickness due to the length scale of this interfacial effect. For larger sublayer thicknesses, the La0.7Sr0.3MnO3 and La0.7Sr0.3CoO3 sublayers are magnetically decoupled, displaying two independent magnetic transitions with little sublayer thickness dependence. These results demonstrate how interfacial phenomena at perovskite oxide interfaces can be used to tailor their functional properties at the atomic scale.

  4. Improved Alkane Production in Nitrogen-Fixing and Halotolerant Cyanobacteria via Abiotic Stresses and Genetic Manipulation of Alkane Synthetic Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kageyama, Hakuto; Waditee-Sirisattha, Rungaroon; Sirisattha, Sophon; Tanaka, Yoshito; Mahakhant, Aparat; Takabe, Teruhiro

    2015-07-01

    Cyanobacteria possess the unique capacity to produce alkane. In this study, effects of nitrogen deficiency and salt stress on biosynthesis of alkanes were investigated in three kinds of cyanobacteria. Intracellular alkane accumulation was increased in nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC7120, but decreased in non-diazotrophic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 and constant in a halotolerant cyanobacterium Aphanothece halophytica under nitrogen-deficient condition. We also found that salt stress increased alkane accumulation in Anabaena sp. PCC7120 and A. halophytica. The expression levels of two alkane synthetic genes were not upregulated significantly under nitrogen deficiency or salt stress in Anabaena sp. PCC7120. The transformant Anabaena sp. PCC7120 cells with additional alkane synthetic gene set from A. halophytica increased intracellular alkane accumulation level compared to control cells. These results provide a prospect to improve bioproduction of alkanes in nitrogen-fixing halotolerant cyanobacteria via abiotic stresses and genetic engineering.

  5. Synthetic Microbial Ecology: Engineering Habitats for Modular Consortia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sami Ben Said

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The metabolic diversity present in microbial communities enables cooperation toward accomplishing more complex tasks than possible by a single organism. Members of a consortium communicate by exchanging metabolites or signals that allow them to coordinate their activity through division of labor. In contrast with monocultures, evidence suggests that microbial consortia self-organize to form spatial patterns, such as observed in biofilms or in soil aggregates, that enable them to respond to gradient, to improve resource interception and to exchange metabolites more effectively. Current biotechnological applications of microorganisms remain rudimentary, often relying on genetically engineered monocultures (e.g., pharmaceuticals or mixed-cultures of partially known composition (e.g., wastewater treatment, yet the vast potential of “microbial ecological power” observed in most natural environments, remains largely underused. In line with the Unified Microbiome Initiative (UMI which aims to “discover and advance tools to understand and harness the capabilities of Earth's microbial ecosystems,” we propose in this concept paper to capitalize on ecological insights into the spatial and modular design of interlinked microbial consortia that would overcome limitations of natural systems and attempt to optimize the functionality of the members and the performance of the engineered consortium. The topology of the spatial connections linking the various members and the regulated fluxes of media between those modules, while representing a major engineering challenge, would allow the microbial species to interact. The modularity of such spatially linked microbial consortia (SLMC could facilitate the design of scalable bioprocesses that can be incorporated as parts of a larger biochemical network. By reducing the need for a compatible growth environment for all species simultaneously, SLMC will dramatically expand the range of possible combinations of

  6. Engineering the bioconversion of methane and methanol to fuels and chemicals in native and synthetic methylotrophs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, R Kyle; Steinberg, Lisa M; Chen, Wilfred; Papoutsakis, Eleftherios T

    2018-04-01

    Methylotrophy describes the ability of organisms to utilize reduced one-carbon compounds, notably methane and methanol, as growth and energy sources. Abundant natural gas supplies, composed primarily of methane, have prompted interest in using these compounds, which are more reduced than sugars, as substrates to improve product titers and yields of bioprocesses. Engineering native methylotophs or developing synthetic methylotrophs are emerging fields to convert methane and methanol into fuels and chemicals under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. This review discusses recent progress made toward engineering native methanotrophs for aerobic and anaerobic methane utilization and synthetic methylotrophs for methanol utilization. Finally, strategies to overcome the limitations involved with synthetic methanol utilization, notably methanol dehydrogenase kinetics and ribulose 5-phosphate regeneration, are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Insuring Consistent Synthetic Enviromental Representation Across an Engineering Federation -- A First User Case

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    2006 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Insuring Consistent Synthetic Enviromental Representation Across an Engineering Federation -A First User Case 5a...realized that these documents were not intended to capture the issues we addressed in developing the consistent environment representation for the ISD

  8. Synthetic lubrication oil influences on performance and emission characteristic of coated diesel engine fuelled by biodiesel blends

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed Musthafa, M.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • Synthetic lubricant provides the maximum performance benefits. • Synthetic lubricant is capable of retaining satisfactory viscosity. • Synthetic lubricant is to increase the life of the engine. • Improvement in efficiency of the coated engine with synthetic lubrication. • No significant changes in the coated engine emission with synthetic lubricants. - Abstract: In this study, the effects of using synthetic lubricating oil on the performance and exhaust emissions in a low heat rejection diesel engine running on Pongamia methyl ester blends and diesel have been investigated experimentally compared to those obtained from a conventional diesel engine with SAE 40 lubrication oil fuelled by diesel. For this purpose, direct injection diesel engine was converted to Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) coated engine. The results showed 5–9% increase in engine efficiency and 8–17% decrease in specific fuel consumption, as well as significant improvements in exhaust gas emissions (except NO X ) for all tested fuels (pure diesel, B10 and B20) used in coated engine with synthetic lubricants compared to that of the uncoated engine with SAE 40 lubricant running on diesel fuel.

  9. Synthetic biology for engineering acetyl coenzyme a metabolism in yeast

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens

    2014-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a widely used cell factory for the production of fuels, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The use of this cell factory for cost-efficient production of novel fuels and chemicals requires high yields and low by-product production. Many industrially interesting...... chemicals are biosynthesized from acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA), which serves as a central precursor metabolite in yeast. To ensure high yields in production of these chemicals, it is necessary to engineer the central carbon metabolism so that ethanol production is minimized (or eliminated) and acetyl......-CoA can be formed from glucose in high yield. Here the perspective of generating yeast platform strains that have such properties is discussed in the context of a major breakthrough with expression of a functional pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in the cytosol....

  10. Biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches for metabolic engineering of bioenergy crops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shih, Patrick M; Liang, Yan; Loqué, Dominique

    2016-07-01

    The Green Revolution has fuelled an exponential growth in human population since the mid-20th century. Due to population growth, food and energy demands will soon surpass supply capabilities. To overcome these impending problems, significant improvements in genetic engineering will be needed to complement breeding efforts in order to accelerate the improvement of agronomical traits. The new field of plant synthetic biology has emerged in recent years and is expected to support rapid, precise, and robust engineering of plants. In this review, we present recent advances made in the field of plant synthetic biology, specifically in genome editing, transgene expression regulation, and bioenergy crop engineering, with a focus on traits related to lignocellulose, oil, and soluble sugars. Ultimately, progress and innovation in these fields may facilitate the development of beneficial traits in crop plants to meet society's bioenergy needs. © 2016 The Authors. The Plant Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Recent advances in synthetic biology for engineering isoprenoid production in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Claudia E; Williams, Thomas C; Peng, Bingyin; Cherry, Joel

    2017-10-01

    Isoprenoids (terpenes/terpenoids) have many useful industrial applications, but are often not produced at industrially viable level in their natural sources. Synthetic biology approaches have been used extensively to reconstruct metabolic pathways in tractable microbial hosts such as yeast and re-engineer pathways and networks to increase yields. Here we review recent advances in this field, focusing on central carbon metabolism engineering to increase precursor supply, re-directing carbon flux for production of C10, C15, or C20 isoprenoids, and chemical decoration of high value diterpenoids (C20). We also overview other novel synthetic biology strategies that have potential utility in yeast isoprenoid pathway engineering. Finally, we address the question of what is required in the future to move the field forwards. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Design and Engineering Strategies for Synthetic Antimicrobial Peptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tossi, Alessandro

    Thousands of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) of prokaryotic, fungal, plant, or animal origin have been identified, and their potential as lead compounds for the design of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of infection, for stimulating the immune system, or in countering septic shock has been widely recognized. Added to this is their possible use in prophylaxis of infectious diseases for animal or plant protection, for disinfection of surgical instruments or industrial surfaces, and for food preservation among other commercially important applications. Since the early eighties, AMPs have been subject to a vast number of studies aimed at understanding what determines their potency and spectrum of activities against bacterial or fungal pathogens, and at maximizing these while limiting cytotoxic activities toward host cells. Much research has also been directed toward understanding specific mechanisms of action underlying the antimicrobial activity and selectivity, to be able to redesign the peptides for optimal performance. A central theme in the mode of action of many AMPs is their dynamic interaction with biological membranes, which involves various properties of these peptides such as, among others, surface hydrophobicity and polarity, charge, structure, and induced conformational variations. These features are often intimately interconnected so that engineering peptides to independently adjust any one property in particular is not an easy task. However, solid-phase peptide synthesis allows the use of a large repertoire of nonproteinogenic amino acids that can be used in the rational design of peptides to finely tune structural and physicochemical properties and precisely probe structure-function relationships.

  13. Genomics-Based Discovery of Plant Genes for Synthetic Biology of Terpenoid Fragrances: A Case Study in Sandalwood oil Biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celedon, J M; Bohlmann, J

    2016-01-01

    Terpenoid fragrances are powerful mediators of ecological interactions in nature and have a long history of traditional and modern industrial applications. Plants produce a great diversity of fragrant terpenoid metabolites, which make them a superb source of biosynthetic genes and enzymes. Advances in fragrance gene discovery have enabled new approaches in synthetic biology of high-value speciality molecules toward applications in the fragrance and flavor, food and beverage, cosmetics, and other industries. Rapid developments in transcriptome and genome sequencing of nonmodel plant species have accelerated the discovery of fragrance biosynthetic pathways. In parallel, advances in metabolic engineering of microbial and plant systems have established platforms for synthetic biology applications of some of the thousands of plant genes that underlie fragrance diversity. While many fragrance molecules (eg, simple monoterpenes) are abundant in readily renewable plant materials, some highly valuable fragrant terpenoids (eg, santalols, ambroxides) are rare in nature and interesting targets for synthetic biology. As a representative example for genomics/transcriptomics enabled gene and enzyme discovery, we describe a strategy used successfully for elucidation of a complete fragrance biosynthetic pathway in sandalwood (Santalum album) and its reconstruction in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). We address questions related to the discovery of specific genes within large gene families and recovery of rare gene transcripts that are selectively expressed in recalcitrant tissues. To substantiate the validity of the approaches, we describe the combination of methods used in the gene and enzyme discovery of a cytochrome P450 in the fragrant heartwood of tropical sandalwood, responsible for the fragrance defining, final step in the biosynthesis of (Z)-santalols. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Synthetic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Maria Manferdini

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditionally materials have been associated with a series of physical properties that can be used as inputs to production and manufacturing. Recently we witnessed an interest in materials considered not only as ‘true matter’, but also as new breeds where geometry, texture, tooling and finish are able to provoke new sensations when they are applied to a substance. These artificial materials can be described as synthetic because they are the outcome of various qualities that are not necessarily true to the original matter, but they are the combination of two or more parts, whether by design or by natural processes. The aim of this paper is to investigate the potential of architectural surfaces to produce effects through the invention of new breeds of artificial matter, using micro-scale details derived from Nature as an inspiration.

  15. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Biomimeticity in tissue engineering scaffolds through synthetic peptide modifications-altering chemistry for enhanced biological response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreejalekshmi, Kumaran G; Nair, Prabha D

    2011-02-01

    Biomimetic and bioactive biomaterials are desirable as tissue engineering scaffolds by virtue of their capability to mimic natural environments of the extracellular matrix. Biomimeticity has been achieved by the incorporation of synthetic short peptide sequences into suitable materials either by surface modification or by bulk incorporation. Research in this area has identified several novel synthetic peptide segments, some of them with cell-specific interactions, which may serve as potential candidates for use in explicit tissue applications. This review focuses on the developments and prospective directions of incorporating short synthetic peptide sequences onto scaffolds for tissue engineering, with emphasis on the chemistry of peptide immobilization and subsequent cell responses toward modified scaffolds. The article provides a decision-tree-type flow chart indicating the most probable cellular events on a given peptide-modified scaffold along with the consolidated list of synthetic peptide sequences, supports as well as cell types used in various tissue engineering studies, and aims to serve as a quick reference guide to peptide chemists and material scientists interested in the field. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Automatic design of synthetic gene circuits through mixed integer non-linear programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynh, Linh; Kececioglu, John; Köppe, Matthias; Tagkopoulos, Ilias

    2012-01-01

    Automatic design of synthetic gene circuits poses a significant challenge to synthetic biology, primarily due to the complexity of biological systems, and the lack of rigorous optimization methods that can cope with the combinatorial explosion as the number of biological parts increases. Current optimization methods for synthetic gene design rely on heuristic algorithms that are usually not deterministic, deliver sub-optimal solutions, and provide no guaranties on convergence or error bounds. Here, we introduce an optimization framework for the problem of part selection in synthetic gene circuits that is based on mixed integer non-linear programming (MINLP), which is a deterministic method that finds the globally optimal solution and guarantees convergence in finite time. Given a synthetic gene circuit, a library of characterized parts, and user-defined constraints, our method can find the optimal selection of parts that satisfy the constraints and best approximates the objective function given by the user. We evaluated the proposed method in the design of three synthetic circuits (a toggle switch, a transcriptional cascade, and a band detector), with both experimentally constructed and synthetic promoter libraries. Scalability and robustness analysis shows that the proposed framework scales well with the library size and the solution space. The work described here is a step towards a unifying, realistic framework for the automated design of biological circuits.

  18. Construction of new synthetic biology tools for the control of gene expression in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zess, Erin K; Begemann, Matthew B; Pfleger, Brian F

    2016-02-01

    Predictive control of gene expression is an essential tool for developing synthetic biological systems. The current toolbox for controlling gene expression in cyanobacteria is a barrier to more in-depth genetic analysis and manipulation. Towards relieving this bottleneck, this work describes the use of synthetic biology to construct an anhydrotetracycline-based induction system and adapt a trans-acting small RNA (sRNA) system for use in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. An anhydrotetracycline-inducible promoter was developed to maximize intrinsic strength and dynamic range. The resulting construct, PEZtet , exhibited tight repression and a maximum 32-fold induction upon addition of anhydrotetracycline. Additionally, a sRNA system based on the Escherichia coli IS10 RNA-IN/OUT regulator was adapted for use in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. This system exhibited 70% attenuation of target gene expression, providing a demonstration of the use of sRNAs for differential gene expression in cyanobacteria. These systems were combined to produce an inducible sRNA system, which demonstrated 59% attenuation of target gene expression. Lastly, the role of Hfq, a critical component of sRNA systems in E. coli, was investigated. Genetic studies showed that the Hfq homolog in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 did not impact repression by the engineered sRNA system. In summary, this work describes new synthetic biology tools that can be applied to physiological studies, metabolic engineering, or sRNA platforms in Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Gene therapy for cartilage and bone tissue engineering

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, Yu-Chen

    2014-01-01

    "Gene Therapy for Cartilage and Bone Tissue Engineering" outlines the tissue engineering and possible applications of gene therapy in the field of biomedical engineering as well as basic principles of gene therapy, vectors and gene delivery, specifically for cartilage and bone engineering. It is intended for tissue engineers, cell therapists, regenerative medicine scientists and engineers, gene therapist and virologists. Dr. Yu-Chen Hu is a Distinguished Professor at the Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University and has received the Outstanding Research Award (National Science Council), Asia Research Award (Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan) and Professor Tsai-Teh Lai Award (Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers). He is also a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and a member of the Tissue Engineering International & Regenerative Medicine Society (TERMIS)-Asia Pacific Council.

  20. Recent Progress on Systems and Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Fungi As Microbial Cell Factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amores, Gerardo Ruiz; Guazzaroni, María-Eugenia; Arruda, Letícia Magalhães; Silva-Rocha, Rafael

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi are remarkable organisms naturally specialized in deconstructing plant biomass and this feature has a tremendous potential for biofuel production from renewable sources. The past decades have been marked by a remarkable progress in the genetic engineering of fungi to generate industry-compatible strains needed for some biotech applications. In this sense, progress in this field has been marked by the utilization of high-throughput techniques to gain deep understanding of the molecular machinery controlling the physiology of these organisms, starting thus the Systems Biology era of fungi. Additionally, genetic engineering has been extensively applied to modify wellcharacterized promoters in order to construct new expression systems with enhanced performance under the conditions of interest. In this review, we discuss some aspects related to significant progress in the understating and engineering of fungi for biotechnological applications, with special focus on the construction of synthetic promoters and circuits in organisms relevant for industry. Different engineering approaches are shown, and their potential and limitations for the construction of complex synthetic circuits in these organisms are examined. Finally, we discuss the impact of engineered promoter architecture in the single-cell behavior of the system, an often-neglected relationship with a tremendous impact in the final performance of the process of interest. We expect to provide here some new directions to drive future research directed to the construction of high-performance, engineered fungal strains working as microbial cell factories.

  1. A synthetic mammalian network to compute population borders based on engineered reciprocal cell-cell communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolar, Katja; Wischhusen, Hanna M; Müller, Konrad; Karlsson, Maria; Weber, Wilfried; Zurbriggen, Matias D

    2015-12-30

    Multicellular organisms depend on the exchange of information between specialized cells. This communication is often difficult to decipher in its native context, but synthetic biology provides tools to engineer well-defined systems that allow the convenient study and manipulation of intercellular communication networks. Here, we present the first mammalian synthetic network for reciprocal cell-cell communication to compute the border between a sender/receiver and a processing cell population. The two populations communicate via L-tryptophan and interleukin-4 to highlight the population border by the production of a fluorescent protein. The sharpness of that visualized edge can be adjusted by modulating key parameters of the network. We anticipate that this network will on the one hand be a useful tool to gain deeper insights into the mechanisms of tissue formation in nature and will on the other hand contribute to our ability to engineer artificial tissues.

  2. Class of cyclic ribosomal peptide synthetic genes in filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagano, Nozomi; Umemura, Myco; Izumikawa, Miho; Kawano, Jin; Ishii, Tomoko; Kikuchi, Moto; Tomii, Kentaro; Kumagai, Toshitaka; Yoshimi, Akira; Machida, Masayuki; Abe, Keietsu; Shin-Ya, Kazuo; Asai, Kiyoshi

    2016-01-01

    Ustiloxins were found recently to be the first example of cyclic peptidyl secondary metabolites that are ribosomally synthesized in filamentous fungi. In this work, two function-unknown genes (ustYa/ustYb) in the gene cluster for ustiloxins from Aspergillus flavus were found experimentally to be involved in cyclization of the peptide. Their homologous genes are observed mainly in filamentous fungi and mushrooms. They have two "HXXHC" motifs that might form active sites. Computational genome analyses showed that these genes are frequently located near candidate genes for ribosomal peptide precursors, which have signal peptides at the N-termini and repeated sequences with core peptides for the cyclic portions, in the genomes of filamentous fungi, particularly Aspergilli, as observed in the ustiloxin gene cluster. Based on the combination of the ustYa/ustYb homologous genes and the nearby ribosomal peptide precursor candidate genes, 94 ribosomal peptide precursor candidates that were identified computationally from Aspergilli genome sequences were classified into more than 40 types including a wide variety of core peptide sequences. A set of the predicted ribosomal peptide biosynthetic genes was experimentally verified to synthesize a new cyclic peptide compound, designated as asperipin-2a, which comprises the amino acid sequence in the corresponding precursor gene, distinct from the ustiloxin precursors. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Towards biologically relevant synthetic designer matrices in 3D bioprinting for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

    KAUST Repository

    Costa, Rúben M.

    2017-05-12

    3D bioprinting is one of the most promising technologies in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. As new printing techniques and bioinks are getting developed, new cellular constructs with high resolution and functionality arise. Different to bioinks of animal, algal or plant origin, synthesized bioinks are proposed as superior biomaterials because their characteristics are fully under control. In this review, we will highlight the potential of synthetic biomaterials to be used as bioinks in 3D bioprinting to produce functionally enhanced matrices.

  4. Proceedings of Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silver, Pamela [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); SEED 2015 Conference Chair; Flach, Evan [American Institute of Chemical Engineers; SEED 2015 Conference Organizer

    2016-10-27

    Synthetic Biology is an emerging discipline that seeks to accelerate the process of engineering biology. As such, the tools are broadly applicable to application areas, including chemicals and biofuels, materials, medicine and agriculture. A characteristic of the field is to look holistically at cellular design, from sensing and genetic circuitry to the manipulation of cellular processes and actuators, to controlling metabolism, to programming multicellular behaviors. Further, the types of cells that are manipulated are broad, from in vitro systems to microbes and fungi to mammalian and plant cells and living animals. Many of the projects in synthetic biology seek to move biochemical functions across organisms. The field is highly interdisciplinary with faculty and students spread across departments that focus on engineering (biological, chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, computer science) and basic science (biology and systems biology, chemistry, physics). While there have been many one-off workshops and meeting on synthetic biology, the 2014 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) was the first of an annual conference series that serves as a reliable place to pull together the involved disciplines in order to organize and exchange advances in the science and technology in the field. Further, the SEED conferences have a strong focus on industry, with many companies represented and actively participating. A number of these companies have started major efforts in synthetic biology including large companies (e.g., Pfizer, Novartis, Dow, Dupont, BP, Total), smaller companies have recently gone public (e.g., Amyris, Gevo, Intrexon), and many start-ups (e.g., Teslagen, Refactored Materials, Pivot, Genomatica). There are a number of loosely affiliated Synthetic Biology Centers, including ones at MIT, Boston University, UCSD, UCSF, UC-Berkeley, Imperial College, Oxford, and ETH. SEED 2015 will serve as the primary meeting at which international

  5. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms for biofuels production: from bugs to synthetic biology to fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuk Lee, Sung; Chou, Howard; Ham, Timothy S.; Soon Lee, Taek; Keasling, Jay D.

    2009-12-02

    The ability to generate microorganisms that can produce biofuels similar to petroleum-based transportation fuels would allow the use of existing engines and infrastructure and would save an enormous amount of capital required for replacing the current infrastructure to accommodate biofuels that have properties significantly different from petroleum-based fuels. Several groups have demonstrated the feasibility of manipulating microbes to produce molecules similar to petroleum-derived products, albeit at relatively low productivity (e.g. maximum butanol production is around 20 g/L). For cost-effective production of biofuels, the fuel-producing hosts and pathways must be engineered and optimized. Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology will provide new tools for metabolic engineers to better understand how to rewire the cell in order to create the desired phenotypes for the production of economically viable biofuels.

  6. Enhancing a Commercial Game Engine to Support Research on Route Realism for Synthetic Human Characters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregg T. Hanold

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Generating routes for entities in virtual environments, such as simulated vehicles or synthetic human characters, is a long-standing problem, and route planning algorithms have been developed and studied for some time. Existing route planning algorithms, including the widely used A* algorithm, are generally intended to achieve optimality in some metric, such as minimum length or minimum time. Comparatively little attention has been given to route realism, defined as the similarity of the algorithm-generated route to the route followed by real humans in the same terrain with the same constraints and goals. Commercial game engines have seen increasing use as a context for research. To study route realism in a game engine, two developments were needed: a quantitative metric for measuring route realism and a game engine able to capture route data needed to compute the realism metric. Enhancements for recording route data for both synthetic characters and human players were implemented within the Unreal Tournament 2004 game engine. A methodology for assessing the realism of routes and other behaviors using a quantitative metric was developed. The enhanced Unreal Tournament 2004 game engine and the realism assessment methodology were tested by capturing data required to calculate a metric of route realism.

  7. The fusion of biology, computer science, and engineering: towards efficient and successful synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linshiz, Gregory; Goldberg, Alex; Konry, Tania; Hillson, Nathan J

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a nascent field that emerged in earnest only around the turn of the millennium. It aims to engineer new biological systems and impart new biological functionality, often through genetic modifications. The design and construction of new biological systems is a complex, multistep process, requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts from "fusion" scientists who have formal training in computer science or engineering, as well as hands-on biological expertise. The public has high expectations for synthetic biology and eagerly anticipates the development of solutions to the major challenges facing humanity. This article discusses laboratory practices and the conduct of research in synthetic biology. It argues that the fusion science approach, which integrates biology with computer science and engineering best practices, including standardization, process optimization, computer-aided design and laboratory automation, miniaturization, and systematic management, will increase the predictability and reproducibility of experiments and lead to breakthroughs in the construction of new biological systems. The article also discusses several successful fusion projects, including the development of software tools for DNA construction design automation, recursive DNA construction, and the development of integrated microfluidics systems.

  8. Synthetic biology approaches in cancer immunotherapy, genetic network engineering, and genome editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarti, Deboki; Cho, Jang Hwan; Weinberg, Benjamin H; Wong, Nicole M; Wong, Wilson W

    2016-04-18

    Investigations into cells and their contents have provided evolving insight into the emergence of complex biological behaviors. Capitalizing on this knowledge, synthetic biology seeks to manipulate the cellular machinery towards novel purposes, extending discoveries from basic science to new applications. While these developments have demonstrated the potential of building with biological parts, the complexity of cells can pose numerous challenges. In this review, we will highlight the broad and vital role that the synthetic biology approach has played in applying fundamental biological discoveries in receptors, genetic circuits, and genome-editing systems towards translation in the fields of immunotherapy, biosensors, disease models and gene therapy. These examples are evidence of the strength of synthetic approaches, while also illustrating considerations that must be addressed when developing systems around living cells.

  9. Synthetic versions of firefly luciferase and Renilla luciferase reporter genes that resist transgene silencing in sugarcane

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Down-regulation or silencing of transgene expression can be a major hurdle to both molecular studies and biotechnology applications in many plant species. Sugarcane is particularly effective at silencing introduced transgenes, including reporter genes such as the firefly luciferase gene. Synthesizing transgene coding sequences optimized for usage in the host plant is one method of enhancing transgene expression and stability. Using specified design rules we have synthesised new coding sequences for both the firefly luciferase and Renilla luciferase reporter genes. We have tested these optimized versions for enhanced levels of luciferase activity and for increased steady state luciferase mRNA levels in sugarcane. Results The synthetic firefly luciferase (luc*) and Renilla luciferase (Renluc*) coding sequences have elevated G + C contents in line with sugarcane codon usage, but maintain 75% identity to the native firefly or Renilla luciferase nucleotide sequences and 100% identity to the protein coding sequences. Under the control of the maize pUbi promoter, the synthetic luc* and Renluc* genes yielded 60x and 15x higher luciferase activity respectively, over the native firefly and Renilla luciferase genes in transient assays on sugarcane suspension cell cultures. Using a novel transient assay in sugarcane suspension cells combining co-bombardment and qRT-PCR, we showed that synthetic luc* and Renluc* genes generate increased transcript levels compared to the native firefly and Renilla luciferase genes. In stable transgenic lines, the luc* transgene generated significantly higher levels of expression than the native firefly luciferase transgene. The fold difference in expression was highest in the youngest tissues. Conclusions We developed synthetic versions of both the firefly and Renilla luciferase reporter genes that resist transgene silencing in sugarcane. These transgenes will be particularly useful for evaluating the expression patterns conferred

  10. Synthetic Biology Approaches to Engineer Probiotics and Members of the Human Microbiota for Biomedical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bober, Josef R; Beisel, Chase L; Nair, Nikhil U

    2018-03-12

    An increasing number of studies have strongly correlated the composition of the human microbiota with many human health conditions and, in several cases, have shown that manipulating the microbiota directly affects health. These insights have generated significant interest in engineering indigenous microbiota community members and nonresident probiotic bacteria as biotic diagnostics and therapeutics that can probe and improve human health. In this review, we discuss recent advances in synthetic biology to engineer commensal and probiotic lactic acid bacteria, bifidobacteria, and Bacteroides for these purposes, and we provide our perspective on the future potential of these technologies. 277 Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering Volume 20 is June 4, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  11. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches driving isoprenoid production in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chonglong; Zada, Bakht; Wei, Gongyuan; Kim, Seon-Won

    2017-10-01

    Isoprenoids comprise the largest family of natural organic compounds with many useful applications in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and industrial fields. Rapid developments in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have facilitated the engineering of isoprenoid biosynthetic pathways in Escherichia coli to induce high levels of production of many different isoprenoids. In this review, the stem pathways for synthesizing isoprene units as well as the branch pathways deriving diverse isoprenoids from the isoprene units have been summarized. The review also highlights the metabolic engineering efforts made for the biosynthesis of hemiterpenoids, monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, diterpenoids, carotenoids, retinoids, and coenzyme Q 10 in E. coli. Perspectives and future directions for the synthesis of novel isoprenoids, decoration of isoprenoids using cytochrome P450 enzymes, and secretion or storage of isoprenoids in E. coli have also been included. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Suitability of Different Natural and Synthetic Biomaterials for Dental Pulp Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galler, Kerstin M; Brandl, Ferdinand P; Kirchhof, Susanne; Widbiller, Matthias; Eidt, Andreas; Buchalla, Wolfgang; Göpferich, Achim; Schmalz, Gottfried

    2018-02-01

    Dental pulp tissue engineering is possible after insertion of pulpal stem cells combined with a scaffold into empty root canals. Commonly used biomaterials are collagen or poly(lactic) acid, which are either difficult to modify or to insert into such a narrow space. New hydrogel scaffolds with bioactive, specifically tailored functions could optimize the conditions for this approach. Different synthetic and natural hydrogels were tested for their suitability to engineer dental pulp. Two functionalized modifications of polyethylene glycol were developed in this study and compared to a self-assembling peptide, as well as to collagen and fibrin. Cell viability of dental pulp stem cells in test materials was assessed over two weeks. Cells in selected test materials laden with dentin-derived growth factors were inserted into human tooth roots and implanted subcutaneously into immunocompromised mice. In vitro cell culture exhibited distinct differences between scaffold types, where viability was significantly higher in natural compared to synthetic materials. In vivo experiments showed considerable differences regarding scaffold degradation, soft tissue formation, vascularization, and odontoblast-like cell differentiation. Fibrin appeared most suitable to enable generation of a pulp-like tissue and differentiation of cells into odontoblasts at the cell-dentin interface. In conclusion, natural materials, especially fibrin, proved to be superior compared to synthetic scaffolds regarding cell viability and dental pulp-like tissue formation.

  13. Erythrocytes-based synthetic delivery systems: transition from conventional to novel engineering strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhateria, Manisha; Rachumallu, Ramakrishna; Singh, Rajbir; Bhatta, Rabi Sankar

    2014-08-01

    Erythrocytes (red blood cells [RBCs]) and artificial or synthetic delivery systems such as liposomes, nanoparticles (NPs) are the most investigated carrier systems. Herein, progress made from conventional approach of using RBC as delivery systems to novel approach of using synthetic delivery systems based on RBC properties will be reviewed. We aim to highlight both conventional and novel approaches of using RBCs as potential carrier system. Conventional approaches which include two main strategies are: i) directly loading therapeutic moieties in RBCs; and ii) coupling them with RBCs whereas novel approaches exploit structural, mechanical and biological properties of RBCs to design synthetic delivery systems through various engineering strategies. Initial attempts included coupling of antibodies to liposomes to specifically target RBCs. Knowledge obtained from several studies led to the development of RBC membrane derived liposomes (nanoerythrosomes), inspiring future application of RBC or its structural features in other attractive delivery systems (hydrogels, filomicelles, microcapsules, micro- and NPs) for even greater potential. In conclusion, this review dwells upon comparative analysis of various conventional and novel engineering strategies in developing RBC based drug delivery systems, diversifying their applications in arena of drug delivery. Regardless of the challenges in front of us, RBC based delivery systems offer an exciting approach of exploiting biological entities in a multitude of medical applications.

  14. Synthetic Escherichia coli consortia engineered for syntrophy demonstrate enhanced biomass productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernstein, Hans C.; Paulson, Steven D.

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic Escherichia coli consortia engineered for syntrophy demonstrated enhanced biomass productivity relative to monocultures. Binary consortia were designed to mimic a ubiquitous, naturally occurring ecological template of primary productivity supported by secondary consumption. The synthetic consortia replicated this evolution-proven strategy by combining a glucose positive E. coli strain, which served as the system’s primary producer, with a glucose negative E. coli strain which consumed metabolic byproducts from the primary producer. The engineered consortia utilized strategic division of labor to simultaneously optimize multiple tasks enhancing overall culture performance. Consortial interactions resulted in the emergent property of enhanced system biomass productivity which was demonstrated with three distinct culturing systems: batch, chemostat and biofilm growth. Glucose-based biomass productivity increased by ~15, 20 and 50% compared to appropriate monoculture controls for these three culturing systems respectively. Interestingly, the consortial interactions also produced biofilms with predictable, self-assembling, laminated microstructures. This study establishes a metabolic engineering paradigm which can be easily adapted to existing E. coli based bioprocesses to improve productivity based on a robust ecological theme. PMID:22015987

  15. Synthetic biology of metabolism: using natural variation to reverse engineer systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kliebenstein, Daniel J

    2014-06-01

    A goal of metabolic engineering is to take a plant and introduce new or modify existing pathways in a directed and predictable fashion. However, existing data does not provide the necessary level of information to allow for predictive models to be generated. One avenue to reverse engineer the necessary information is to study the genetic control of natural variation in plant primary and secondary metabolism. These studies are showing that any engineering model will have to incorporate information about 1000s of genes in both the nuclear and organellar genome to optimize the function of the introduced pathway. Further, these genes may interact in an unpredictable fashion complicating any engineering approach as it moves from the one or two gene manipulation to higher order stacking efforts. Finally, metabolic engineering may be influenced by a previously unrecognized potential for a plant to measure the metabolites within it. In combination, these observations from natural variation provide a beginning to help improve current efforts at metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Synthetic niche substrates engineered via two‐photon laser polymerization for the expansion of human mesenchymal stromal cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Maggio, Nunzia; Zandrini, Tommaso; Cerullo, Giulio; Osellame, Roberto; Martin, Ivan; Raimondi, Manuela T.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The present study reports on the development of an innovative culture substrate, micro‐fabricated by two‐photon laser polymerization (2PP) in a hybrid organic–inorganic photoresin. It was previously demonstrated that this substrate is able to guide spontaneous homing and colonization of mesenchymal stromal cells by the presence of synthetic microniches. Here, the number of niches covering the culture substrate was increased up to 10% of the total surface. Human bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stromal cells were expanded for 3 weeks and then their proliferation, clonogenic capacity and bilineage differentiation potential towards the osteogenic and adipogenic lineage were evaluated, both by colorimetric assays and by real‐time polymerase chain reaction. Compared with cells cultured on glass substrates, cells expanded on 2PP substrates showed a greater colony diameter, which is an index of clonogenic potential. Following medium conditioning on 2PP‐cultured cells, the expression of RUNX2 and BSP genes, as well as PPAR‐gamma, was significantly greater than that measured on glass controls. Thus, human cells expanded on the synthetic niche substrate maintained their proliferative potential, clonogenic capacity and bilineage differentiation potential more effectively than cells expanded on glass substrates and in some aspects were comparable to non‐expanded cells. © 2016 The Authors Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:27296669

  17. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering for marine carotenoids: new opportunities and future prospects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chonglong; Kim, Jung-Hun; Kim, Seon-Won

    2014-09-17

    Carotenoids are a class of diverse pigments with important biological roles such as light capture and antioxidative activities. Many novel carotenoids have been isolated from marine organisms to date and have shown various utilizations as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we summarize the pathways and enzymes of carotenoid synthesis and discuss various modifications of marine carotenoids. The advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for carotenoid production are also reviewed, in hopes that this review will promote the exploration of marine carotenoid for their utilizations.

  18. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering for Marine Carotenoids: New Opportunities and Future Prospects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chonglong Wang

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Carotenoids are a class of diverse pigments with important biological roles such as light capture and antioxidative activities. Many novel carotenoids have been isolated from marine organisms to date and have shown various utilizations as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we summarize the pathways and enzymes of carotenoid synthesis and discuss various modifications of marine carotenoids. The advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for carotenoid production are also reviewed, in hopes that this review will promote the exploration of marine carotenoid for their utilizations.

  19. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering for Marine Carotenoids: New Opportunities and Future Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chonglong; Kim, Jung-Hun; Kim, Seon-Won

    2014-01-01

    Carotenoids are a class of diverse pigments with important biological roles such as light capture and antioxidative activities. Many novel carotenoids have been isolated from marine organisms to date and have shown various utilizations as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals. In this review, we summarize the pathways and enzymes of carotenoid synthesis and discuss various modifications of marine carotenoids. The advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for carotenoid production are also reviewed, in hopes that this review will promote the exploration of marine carotenoid for their utilizations. PMID:25233369

  20. Synthetic lethality between gene defects affecting a single non-essential molecular pathway with reversible steps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrei Zinovyev

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Systematic analysis of synthetic lethality (SL constitutes a critical tool for systems biology to decipher molecular pathways. The most accepted mechanistic explanation of SL is that the two genes function in parallel, mutually compensatory pathways, known as between-pathway SL. However, recent genome-wide analyses in yeast identified a significant number of within-pathway negative genetic interactions. The molecular mechanisms leading to within-pathway SL are not fully understood. Here, we propose a novel mechanism leading to within-pathway SL involving two genes functioning in a single non-essential pathway. This type of SL termed within-reversible-pathway SL involves reversible pathway steps, catalyzed by different enzymes in the forward and backward directions, and kinetic trapping of a potentially toxic intermediate. Experimental data with recombinational DNA repair genes validate the concept. Mathematical modeling recapitulates the possibility of kinetic trapping and revealed the potential contributions of synthetic, dosage-lethal interactions in such a genetic system as well as the possibility of within-pathway positive masking interactions. Analysis of yeast gene interaction and pathway data suggests broad applicability of this novel concept. These observations extend the canonical interpretation of synthetic-lethal or synthetic-sick interactions with direct implications to reconstruct molecular pathways and improve therapeutic approaches to diseases such as cancer.

  1. Synthetic Nucleic Acid Analogues in Gene Therapy: An Update for Peptide–Oligonucleotide Conjugates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Taskova, Maria; Mantsiou, Anna; Astakhova, Kira

    2017-01-01

    The main objective of this work is to provide an update on synthetic nucleic acid analogues and nanoassemblies as tools in gene therapy. In particular, the synthesis and properties of peptide–oligonucleotide conjugates (POCs), which have high potential in research and as therapeutics, are described...

  2. Synthetic gene network restoring endogenous pituitary–thyroid feedback control in experimental Graves’ disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saxena, Pratik; Charpin-El Hamri, Ghislaine; Folcher, Marc; Zulewski, Henryk; Fussenegger, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism because of autoantibodies that bind to the thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) on the thyroid gland, triggering thyroid hormone release. The physiological control of thyroid hormone homeostasis by the feedback loops involving the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis is disrupted by these stimulating autoantibodies. To reset the endogenous thyrotrophic feedback control, we designed a synthetic mammalian gene circuit that maintains thyroid hormone homeostasis by monitoring thyroid hormone levels and coordinating the expression of a thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor antagonist (TSHAntag), which competitively inhibits the binding of thyroid-stimulating hormone or the human autoantibody to TSHR. This synthetic control device consists of a synthetic thyroid-sensing receptor (TSR), a yeast Gal4 protein/human thyroid receptor-α fusion, which reversibly triggers expression of the TSHAntag gene from TSR-dependent promoters. In hyperthyroid mice, this synthetic circuit sensed pathological thyroid hormone levels and restored the thyrotrophic feedback control of the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis to euthyroid hormone levels. Therapeutic plug and play gene circuits that restore physiological feedback control in metabolic disorders foster advanced gene- and cell-based therapies. PMID:26787873

  3. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Genetically engineering adenoviral vectors for gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coughlan, Lynda

    2014-01-01

    Adenoviral (Ad) vectors are commonly used for various gene therapy applications. Significant advances in the genetic engineering of Ad vectors in recent years has highlighted their potential for the treatment of metastatic disease. There are several methods to genetically modify the Ad genome to incorporate retargeting peptides which will redirect the natural tropism of the viruses, including homologous recombination in bacteria or yeast. However, homologous recombination in yeast is highly efficient and can be achieved without the need for extensive cloning strategies. In addition, the method does not rely on the presence of unique restriction sites within the Ad genome and the reagents required for this method are widely available and inexpensive. Large plasmids containing the entire adenoviral genome (~36 kbp) can be modified within Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast and genomes easily rescued in Escherichia coli hosts for analysis or amplification. A method for two-step homologous recombination in yeast is described in this chapter.

  5. Heterologous production of raspberry ketone in the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae via pathway engineering and synthetic enzyme fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Danna; Lloyd, Natoiya D R; Pretorius, Isak S; Borneman, Anthony R

    2016-03-04

    Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound found in raspberries and naturally derived raspberry ketone is a valuable flavoring agent. The economic incentives for the production of raspberry ketone, combined with the very poor yields from plant tissue, therefore make this compound an excellent target for heterologous production in synthetically engineered microbial strains. A de novo pathway for the production of raspberry ketone was assembled using four heterologous genes, encoding phenylalanine/tyrosine ammonia lyase, cinnamate-4-hydroxlase, coumarate-CoA ligase and benzalacetone synthase, in an industrial strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Synthetic protein fusions were also explored as a means of increasing yields of the final product. The highest raspberry ketone concentration achieved in minimal media exceeded 7.5 mg/L when strains were fed with 3 mM p-coumaric acid; or 2.8 mg/L for complete de novo synthesis, both of which utilized a coumarate-CoA ligase, benzalacetone synthase synthetic fusion protein that increased yields over fivefold compared to the native enzymes. In addition, this strain was shown to be able to produce significant amounts of raspberry ketone in wine, with a raspberry ketone titer of 3.5 mg/L achieved after aerobic fermentation of Chardonnay juice or 0.68 mg/L under anaerobic winemaking conditions. We have shown that it is possible to produce sensorially-relevant quantities of raspberry ketone in an industrial heterologous host. This paves the way for further pathway optimization to provide an economical alternative to raspberry ketone derived from plant sources.

  6. Impact of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering on industrial production of fine chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jullesson, David; David, Florian; Pfleger, Brian; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-11-15

    Industrial bio-processes for fine chemical production are increasingly relying on cell factories developed through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. The use of high throughput techniques and automation for the design of cell factories, and especially platform strains, has played an important role in the transition from laboratory research to industrial production. Model organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli remain widely used host strains for industrial production due to their robust and desirable traits. This review describes some of the bio-based fine chemicals that have reached the market, key metabolic engineering tools that have allowed this to happen and some of the companies that are currently utilizing these technologies for developing industrial production processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Impact of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering on industrial production of fine chemicals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jullesson, David; David, Florian; Pfleger, Brian

    2015-01-01

    Industrial bio-processes for fine chemical production are increasingly relying on cell factories developed through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. The use of high throughput techniques and automation for the design of cell factories, and especially platform strains, has played...... an important role in the transition from laboratory research to industrial production. Model organisms such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli remain widely used host strains for industrial production due to their robust and desirable traits. This review describes some of the bio-based fine...... chemicals that have reached the market, key metabolic engineering tools that have allowed this to happen and some of the companies that are currently utilizing these technologies for developing industrial production processes....

  8. Synthetic strong ground motions for engineering design utilizing empirical Green`s functions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchings, L.J.; Jarpe, S.P.; Kasameyer, P.W.; Foxall, W.

    1996-04-11

    We present a methodology for developing realistic synthetic strong ground motions for specific sites from specific earthquakes. We analyzed the possible ground motion resulting from a M = 7.25 earthquake that ruptures 82 km of the Hayward fault for a site 1.4 km from the fault in the eastern San Francisco Bay area. We developed a suite of 100 rupture scenarios for the Hayward fault earthquake and computed the corresponding strong ground motion time histories. We synthesized strong ground motion with physics-based solutions of earthquake rupture and applied physical bounds on rupture parameters. By having a suite of rupture scenarios of hazardous earthquakes for a fixed magnitude and identifying the hazard to the site from the statistical distribution of engineering parameters, we introduce a probabilistic component into the deterministic hazard calculation. Engineering parameters of synthesized ground motions agree with those recorded from the 1995 Kobe, Japan and the 1992 Landers, California earthquakes at similar distances and site geologies.

  9. Development of peptide-functionalized synthetic hydrogel microarrays for stem cell and tissue engineering applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Jia; Coyle, Robert C; Richards, Dylan J; Berry, Christopher Lloyd; Barrs, Ryan Walker; Biggs, Joshua; James Chou, C; Trusk, Thomas C; Mei, Ying

    2016-11-01

    Synthetic polymer microarray technology holds remarkable promise to rapidly identify suitable biomaterials for stem cell and tissue engineering applications. However, most of previous microarrayed synthetic polymers do not possess biological ligands (e.g., peptides) to directly engage cell surface receptors. Here, we report the development of peptide-functionalized hydrogel microarrays based on light-assisted copolymerization of poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylates (PEGDA) and methacrylated-peptides. Using solid-phase peptide/organic synthesis, we developed an efficient route to synthesize methacrylated-peptides. In parallel, we identified PEG hydrogels that effectively inhibit non-specific cell adhesion by using PEGDA-700 (M. W.=700) as a monomer. The combined use of these chemistries enables the development of a powerful platform to prepare peptide-functionalized PEG hydrogel microarrays. Additionally, we identified a linker composed of 4 glycines to ensure sufficient exposure of the peptide moieties from hydrogel surfaces. Further, we used this system to directly compare cell adhesion abilities of several related RGD peptides: RGD, RGDS, RGDSG and RGDSP. Finally, we combined the peptide-functionalized hydrogel technology with bioinformatics to construct a library composed of 12 different RGD peptides, including 6 unexplored RGD peptides, to develop culture substrates for hiPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs), a cell type known for poor adhesion to synthetic substrates. 2 out of 6 unexplored RGD peptides showed substantial activities to support hiPSC-CMs. Among them, PMQKMRGDVFSP from laminin β4 subunit was found to support the highest adhesion and sarcomere formation of hiPSC-CMs. With bioinformatics, the peptide-functionalized hydrogel microarrays accelerate the discovery of novel biological ligands to develop biomaterials for stem cell and tissue engineering applications. In this manuscript, we described the development of a robust approach to prepare peptide

  10. Engineering Bacteria to Search for Specific Concentrations of Molecules by a Systematic Synthetic Biology Design Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tien, Shin-Ming; Hsu, Chih-Yuan; Chen, Bor-Sen

    2016-01-01

    Bacteria navigate environments full of various chemicals to seek favorable places for survival by controlling the flagella's rotation using a complicated signal transduction pathway. By influencing the pathway, bacteria can be engineered to search for specific molecules, which has great potential for application to biomedicine and bioremediation. In this study, genetic circuits were constructed to make bacteria search for a specific molecule at particular concentrations in their environment through a synthetic biology method. In addition, by replacing the "brake component" in the synthetic circuit with some specific sensitivities, the bacteria can be engineered to locate areas containing specific concentrations of the molecule. Measured by the swarm assay qualitatively and microfluidic techniques quantitatively, the characteristics of each "brake component" were identified and represented by a mathematical model. Furthermore, we established another mathematical model to anticipate the characteristics of the "brake component". Based on this model, an abundant component library can be established to provide adequate component selection for different searching conditions without identifying all components individually. Finally, a systematic design procedure was proposed. Following this systematic procedure, one can design a genetic circuit for bacteria to rapidly search for and locate different concentrations of particular molecules by selecting the most adequate "brake component" in the library. Moreover, following simple procedures, one can also establish an exclusive component library suitable for other cultivated environments, promoter systems, or bacterial strains.

  11. Engineering Bacteria to Search for Specific Concentrations of Molecules by a Systematic Synthetic Biology Design Method.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ming Tien

    Full Text Available Bacteria navigate environments full of various chemicals to seek favorable places for survival by controlling the flagella's rotation using a complicated signal transduction pathway. By influencing the pathway, bacteria can be engineered to search for specific molecules, which has great potential for application to biomedicine and bioremediation. In this study, genetic circuits were constructed to make bacteria search for a specific molecule at particular concentrations in their environment through a synthetic biology method. In addition, by replacing the "brake component" in the synthetic circuit with some specific sensitivities, the bacteria can be engineered to locate areas containing specific concentrations of the molecule. Measured by the swarm assay qualitatively and microfluidic techniques quantitatively, the characteristics of each "brake component" were identified and represented by a mathematical model. Furthermore, we established another mathematical model to anticipate the characteristics of the "brake component". Based on this model, an abundant component library can be established to provide adequate component selection for different searching conditions without identifying all components individually. Finally, a systematic design procedure was proposed. Following this systematic procedure, one can design a genetic circuit for bacteria to rapidly search for and locate different concentrations of particular molecules by selecting the most adequate "brake component" in the library. Moreover, following simple procedures, one can also establish an exclusive component library suitable for other cultivated environments, promoter systems, or bacterial strains.

  12. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  13. Genetically transformed tobacco plants expressing synthetic EPSPS gene confer tolerance against glyphosate herbicide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imran, Muhammad; Asad, Shaheen; Barboza, Andre Luiz; Galeano, Esteban; Carrer, Helaine; Mukhtar, Zahid

    2017-04-01

    Glyphosate quashes the synthesis of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3- phosphate synthase (EPSPS) enzyme which intercedes the functioning of shikimate pathway for the production of aromatic amino acids. Herbicide resistant crops are developed using glyphosate insensitive EPSPS gene isolated from Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4, which give farmers a sustainable weed control option. Intentions behind this study were to design and characterize the synthetic herbicide resistant CP4 - EPSPS gene in a model plant system and check the effectiveness of transformed tobacco against application of glyphosate. Putative transgenic plants were obtained from independent transformation events, and stable plant transformation, transgene expression and integration were demonstrated respectively by PCR, qRT-PCR and Southern hybridization. Gene transcript level and gene copy number (1-4) varied among the tested transgenic tobacco lines. Herbicide assays showed that transgenic plants were resistant to glyphosate after 12 days of spraying with glyphosate, and EPSPS activity remained at sufficient level to withstand the spray at 1000 ppm of the chemical. T 1 plants analyzed through immunoblot strips and PCR showed that the gene was being translated into protein and transmitted to the next generation successfully. This codon optimized synthetic CP4 - EPSPS gene is functionally equivalent to the gene for glyphosate resistance available in the commercial crops and hence we recommend this gene for transformation into commercial crops.

  14. Engineering C4 photosynthesis into C3 chassis in the synthetic biology age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuler, Mara L; Mantegazza, Otho; Weber, Andreas P M

    2016-07-01

    C4 photosynthetic plants outperform C3 plants in hot and arid climates. By concentrating carbon dioxide around Rubisco C4 plants drastically reduce photorespiration. The frequency with which plants evolved C4 photosynthesis independently challenges researchers to unravel the genetic mechanisms underlying this convergent evolutionary switch. The conversion of C3 crops, such as rice, towards C4 photosynthesis is a long-standing goal. Nevertheless, at the present time, in the age of synthetic biology, this still remains a monumental task, partially because the C4 carbon-concentrating biochemical cycle spans two cell types and thus requires specialized anatomy. Here we review the advances in understanding the molecular basis and the evolution of the C4 trait, advances in the last decades that were driven by systems biology methods. In this review we emphasise essential genetic engineering tools needed to translate our theoretical knowledge into engineering approaches. With our current molecular understanding of the biochemical C4 pathway, we propose a simplified rational engineering model exclusively built with known C4 metabolic components. Moreover, we discuss an alternative approach to the progressing international engineering attempts that would combine targeted mutagenesis and directed evolution. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Tissue Engineering Using Transfected Growth-Factor Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madry, Henning; Langer, Robert S.; Freed, Lisa E.; Trippel, Stephen; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana

    2005-01-01

    A method of growing bioengineered tissues includes, as a major component, the use of mammalian cells that have been transfected with genes for secretion of regulator and growth-factor substances. In a typical application, one either seeds the cells onto an artificial matrix made of a synthetic or natural biocompatible material, or else one cultures the cells until they secrete a desired amount of an extracellular matrix. If such a bioengineered tissue construct is to be used for surgical replacement of injured tissue, then the cells should preferably be the patient s own cells or, if not, at least cells matched to the patient s cells according to a human-leucocyteantigen (HLA) test. The bioengineered tissue construct is typically implanted in the patient's injured natural tissue, wherein the growth-factor genes enhance metabolic functions that promote the in vitro development of functional tissue constructs and their integration with native tissues. If the matrix is biodegradable, then one of the results of metabolism could be absorption of the matrix and replacement of the matrix with tissue formed at least partly by the transfected cells. The method was developed for articular chondrocytes but can (at least in principle) be extended to a variety of cell types and biocompatible matrix materials, including ones that have been exploited in prior tissue-engineering methods. Examples of cell types include chondrocytes, hepatocytes, islet cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, other organ cells, bone- and cartilage-forming cells, epithelial and endothelial cells, connective- tissue stem cells, mesodermal stem cells, and cells of the liver and the pancreas. Cells can be obtained from cell-line cultures, biopsies, and tissue banks. Genes, molecules, or nucleic acids that secrete factors that influence the growth of cells, the production of extracellular matrix material, and other cell functions can be inserted in cells by any of a variety of standard transfection techniques.

  16. Function and evolution of the serotonin-synthetic bas-1 gene and other aromatic amino acid decarboxylase genes in Caenorhabditis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hare Emily E

    2004-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC enzymes catalyze the synthesis of biogenic amines, including the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, throughout the animal kingdom. These neurotransmitters typically perform important functions in both the nervous system and other tissues, as illustrated by the debilitating conditions that arise from their deficiency. Studying the regulation and evolution of AADC genes is therefore desirable to further our understanding of how nervous systems function and evolve. Results In the nematode C. elegans, the bas-1 gene is required for both serotonin and dopamine synthesis, and maps genetically near two AADC-homologous sequences. We show by transformation rescue and sequencing of mutant alleles that bas-1 encodes an AADC enzyme. Expression of a reporter construct in transgenics suggests that the bas-1 gene is expressed, as expected, in identified serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. The bas-1 gene is one of six AADC-like sequences in the C. elegans genome, including a duplicate that is immediately downstream of the bas-1 gene. Some of the six AADC genes are quite similar to known serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic AADC's from other organisms whereas others are divergent, suggesting previously unidentified functions. In comparing the AADC genes of C. elegans with those of the congeneric C. briggsae, we find only four orthologous AADC genes in C. briggsae. Two C. elegans AADC genes – those most similar to bas-1 – are missing from C. briggsae. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that one or both of these bas-1-like genes were present in the common ancestor of C. elegans and C. briggsae, and were retained in the C. elegans line, but lost in the C. briggsae line. Further analysis of the two bas-1-like genes in C. elegans suggests that they are unlikely to encode functional enzymes, and may be expressed pseudogenes. Conclusions The bas-1 gene of C. elegans encodes a serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic

  17. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M

    2013-01-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics. (review article)

  18. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering Approaches and Its Impact on Non-Conventional Yeast and Biofuel Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madhavan, Aravind [Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Trivandrum (India); Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, Trivandrum (India); Jose, Anju Alphonsa; Binod, Parameswaran; Sindhu, Raveendran, E-mail: sindhurgcb@gmail.com; Sukumaran, Rajeev K. [Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Trivandrum (India); Pandey, Ashok [Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Trivandrum (India); Center for Innovative and Applied Bioprocessing, Mohali, Punjab (India); Castro, Galliano Eulogio [Dpt. Ingeniería Química, Ambiental y de los Materiales Edificio, Universidad de Jaén, Jaén (Spain)

    2017-04-25

    The increasing fossil fuel scarcity has led to an urgent need to develop alternative fuels. Currently microorganisms have been extensively used for the production of first-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Yeast is the efficient producer of bioethanol among all existing biofuels option. Tools of synthetic biology have revolutionized the field of microbial cell factories especially in the case of ethanol and fatty acid production. Most of the synthetic biology tools have been developed for the industrial workhorse Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The non-conventional yeast systems have several beneficial traits like ethanol tolerance, thermotolerance, inhibitor tolerance, genetic diversity, etc., and synthetic biology have the power to expand these traits. Currently, synthetic biology is slowly widening to the non-conventional yeasts like Hansenula polymorpha, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica. Herein, we review the basic synthetic biology tools that can apply to non-conventional yeasts. Furthermore, we discuss the recent advances employed to develop efficient biofuel-producing non-conventional yeast strains by metabolic engineering and synthetic biology with recent examples. Looking forward, future synthetic engineering tools’ development and application should focus on unexplored non-conventional yeast species.

  19. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering Approaches and Its Impact on Non-Conventional Yeast and Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raveendran Sindhu

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The increasing fossil fuel scarcity has led to an urgent need to develop alternative fuels. Currently microorganisms have been extensively used for the production of first-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Yeast is the efficient producer of bioethanol among all existing biofuels option. Tools of synthetic biology have revolutionized the field of microbial cell factories especially in the case of ethanol and fatty acid production. Most of the synthetic biology tools have been developed for the industrial workhorse Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The non-conventional yeast systems have several beneficial traits like ethanol tolerance, thermotolerance, inhibitor tolerance, genetic diversity, etc., and synthetic biology have the power to expand these traits. Currently, synthetic biology is slowly widening to the non-conventional yeasts like Hansenula polymorpha, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica. Herein, we review the basic synthetic biology tools that can apply to non-conventional yeasts. Furthermore, we discuss the recent advances employed to develop efficient biofuel-producing non-conventional yeast strains by metabolic engineering and synthetic biology with recent examples. Looking forward, future synthetic engineering tools’ development and application should focus on unexplored non-conventional yeast species.

  20. Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering Approaches and Its Impact on Non-Conventional Yeast and Biofuel Production

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madhavan, Aravind; Jose, Anju Alphonsa; Binod, Parameswaran; Sindhu, Raveendran; Sukumaran, Rajeev K.; Pandey, Ashok; Castro, Galliano Eulogio

    2017-01-01

    The increasing fossil fuel scarcity has led to an urgent need to develop alternative fuels. Currently microorganisms have been extensively used for the production of first-generation biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Yeast is the efficient producer of bioethanol among all existing biofuels option. Tools of synthetic biology have revolutionized the field of microbial cell factories especially in the case of ethanol and fatty acid production. Most of the synthetic biology tools have been developed for the industrial workhorse Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The non-conventional yeast systems have several beneficial traits like ethanol tolerance, thermotolerance, inhibitor tolerance, genetic diversity, etc., and synthetic biology have the power to expand these traits. Currently, synthetic biology is slowly widening to the non-conventional yeasts like Hansenula polymorpha, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica. Herein, we review the basic synthetic biology tools that can apply to non-conventional yeasts. Furthermore, we discuss the recent advances employed to develop efficient biofuel-producing non-conventional yeast strains by metabolic engineering and synthetic biology with recent examples. Looking forward, future synthetic engineering tools’ development and application should focus on unexplored non-conventional yeast species.

  1. Synthetic Transcription Amplifier System for Orthogonal Control of Gene Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anssi Rantasalo

    Full Text Available This work describes the development and characterization of a modular synthetic expression system that provides a broad range of adjustable and predictable expression levels in S. cerevisiae. The system works as a fixed-gain transcription amplifier, where the input signal is transferred via a synthetic transcription factor (sTF onto a synthetic promoter, containing a defined core promoter, generating a transcription output signal. The system activation is based on the bacterial LexA-DNA-binding domain, a set of modified, modular LexA-binding sites and a selection of transcription activation domains. We show both experimentally and computationally that the tuning of the system is achieved through the selection of three separate modules, each of which enables an adjustable output signal: 1 the transcription-activation domain of the sTF, 2 the binding-site modules in the output promoter, and 3 the core promoter modules which define the transcription initiation site in the output promoter. The system has a novel bidirectional architecture that enables generation of compact, yet versatile expression modules for multiple genes with highly diversified expression levels ranging from negligible to very strong using one synthetic transcription factor. In contrast to most existing modular gene expression regulation systems, the present system is independent from externally added compounds. Furthermore, the established system was minimally affected by the several tested growth conditions. These features suggest that it can be highly useful in large scale biotechnology applications.

  2. Oxygen diffusivity of biologic and synthetic scaffold materials for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentin, Jolene E; Freytes, Donald O; Grasman, Jonathan M; Pesyna, Colin; Freund, John; Gilbert, Thomas W; Badylak, Stephen F

    2009-12-15

    Scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications are commonly manufactured from synthetic materials, intact or isolated components of extracellular matrix (ECM), or a combination of such materials. After surgical implantation, the metabolic requirements of cells that populate the scaffold depend upon adequate gas and nutrient exchange with the surrounding microenvironment. The present study measured the oxygen transfer through three biologic scaffold materials composed of ECM including small intestinal submucosa (SIS), urinary bladder submucosa (UBS), and urinary bladder matrix (UBM), and one synthetic biomaterial, Dacron. The oxygen diffusivity was calculated from Fick's first law of diffusion. Each material permitted measurable oxygen diffusion. The diffusivity of SIS was found to be dependent on the direction of oxygen transfer; the oxygen transfer in the abluminal-to-luminal direction was significantly greater than the luminal-to-abluminal direction. The oxygen diffusivity of UBM and UBS were similar despite the presence of an intact basement membrane on the luminal surface of UBM. Dacron showed oxygen diffusivity values seven times greater than the ECM biomaterials. The current study showed that each material has unique oxygen diffusivity values, and these values may be dependent on the scaffold's ultrastructure.

  3. NATO Advanced Study Institute on Synthetic Membranes : Science, Engineering and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Lonsdale, H; Pinho, M

    1986-01-01

    The chapters in this book are based upon lectures given at the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Synthetic Membranes (June 26-July 8, 1983, Alcabideche, Portugal), which provided an integrated presentation of syn­ thetic membrane science and technology in three broad areas. Currently available membrane formation mechanisms are reviewed, as well as the manner in which synthesis conditions can be controlled to achieve desired membrane structures. Membrane performance in a specific separa­ tionprocess involves complex phenomena, the understanding of which re­ quires a multidisciplinary approach encompassing polymer chemistry, phys­ ical chemistry, and chemical engineering. Progress toward a global understanding of membrane phenomena is described in chapters on the principles of membrane transport. The chapters on membrane processes and applications highlight both established and emerging membrane processes, and elucidate their myriad applications. It is our hope that this book will be an enduring, comprehensi...

  4. Gene expression platform for synthetic biology in the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorg, Robin A; Kuipers, Oscar P; Veening, Jan-Willem

    2015-03-20

    The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a bacterium that owes its success to complex gene expression regulation patterns on both the cellular and the population level. Expression of virulence factors enables a mostly hazard-free presence of the commensal, in balance with the host and niche competitors. Under specific circumstances, changes in this expression can result in a more aggressive behavior and the reversion to the invasive form as pathogen. These triggering conditions are very difficult to study due to the fact that environmental cues are often unknown or barely possible to simulate outside the host (in vitro). An alternative way of investigating expression patterns is found in synthetic biology approaches of reconstructing regulatory networks that mimic an observed behavior with orthogonal components. Here, we created a genetic platform suitable for synthetic biology approaches in S. pneumoniae and characterized a set of standardized promoters and reporters. We show that our system allows for fast and easy cloning with the BglBrick system and that reliable and robust gene expression after integration into the S. pneumoniae genome is achieved. In addition, the cloning system was extended to allow for direct linker-based assembly of ribosome binding sites, peptide tags, and fusion proteins, and we called this new generally applicable standard "BglFusion". The gene expression platform and the methods described in this study pave the way for employing synthetic biology approaches in S. pneumoniae.

  5. Decolorization of industrial synthetic dyes using engineered Pseudomonas putida cells with surface-immobilized bacterial laccase

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Microbial laccases are highly useful in textile effluent dye biodegradation. However, the bioavailability of cellularly expressed or purified laccases in continuous operations is usually limited by mass transfer impediment or enzyme regeneration difficulty. Therefore, this study develops a regenerable bacterial surface-displaying system for industrial synthetic dye decolorization, and evaluates its effects on independent and continuous operations. Results A bacterial laccase (WlacD) was engineered onto the cell surface of the solvent-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas putida to construct a whole-cell biocatalyst. Ice nucleation protein (InaQ) anchor was employed, and the ability of 1 to 3 tandemly aligned N-terminal repeats to direct WlacD display were compared. Immobilized WlacD was determined to be surface-displayed in functional form using Western blot analysis, immunofluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and whole-cell enzymatic activity assay. Engineered P. putida cells were then applied to decolorize the anthraquinone dye Acid Green (AG) 25 and diazo-dye Acid Red (AR) 18. The results showed that decolorization of both dyes is Cu2+- and mediator-independent, with an optimum temperature of 35°C and pH of 3.0, and can be stably performed across a temperature range of 15°C to 45°C. A high activity toward AG25 (1 g/l) with relative decolorization values of 91.2% (3 h) and 97.1% (18 h), as well as high activity to AR18 (1 g/l) by 80.5% (3 h) and 89.0% (18 h), was recorded. The engineered system exhibited a comparably high activity compared with those of separate dyes in a continuous three-round shake-flask decolorization of AG25/AR18 mixed dye (each 1 g/l). No significant decline in decolorization efficacy was noted during first two-rounds but reaction equilibriums were elongated, and the residual laccase activity eventually decreased to low levels. However, the decolorizing capacity of the system was easily retrieved via a subsequent 4-h

  6. Decolorization of industrial synthetic dyes using engineered Pseudomonas putida cells with surface-immobilized bacterial laccase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Wei

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial laccases are highly useful in textile effluent dye biodegradation. However, the bioavailability of cellularly expressed or purified laccases in continuous operations is usually limited by mass transfer impediment or enzyme regeneration difficulty. Therefore, this study develops a regenerable bacterial surface-displaying system for industrial synthetic dye decolorization, and evaluates its effects on independent and continuous operations. Results A bacterial laccase (WlacD was engineered onto the cell surface of the solvent-tolerant bacterium Pseudomonas putida to construct a whole-cell biocatalyst. Ice nucleation protein (InaQ anchor was employed, and the ability of 1 to 3 tandemly aligned N-terminal repeats to direct WlacD display were compared. Immobilized WlacD was determined to be surface-displayed in functional form using Western blot analysis, immunofluorescence microscopy, flow cytometry, and whole-cell enzymatic activity assay. Engineered P. putida cells were then applied to decolorize the anthraquinone dye Acid Green (AG 25 and diazo-dye Acid Red (AR 18. The results showed that decolorization of both dyes is Cu2+- and mediator-independent, with an optimum temperature of 35°C and pH of 3.0, and can be stably performed across a temperature range of 15°C to 45°C. A high activity toward AG25 (1 g/l with relative decolorization values of 91.2% (3 h and 97.1% (18 h, as well as high activity to AR18 (1 g/l by 80.5% (3 h and 89.0% (18 h, was recorded. The engineered system exhibited a comparably high activity compared with those of separate dyes in a continuous three-round shake-flask decolorization of AG25/AR18 mixed dye (each 1 g/l. No significant decline in decolorization efficacy was noted during first two-rounds but reaction equilibriums were elongated, and the residual laccase activity eventually decreased to low levels. However, the decolorizing capacity of the system was easily retrieved

  7. Computer-assisted engineering of the synthetic pathway for biodegradation of a toxic persistent pollutant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurumbang, Nagendra Prasad; Dvorak, Pavel; Bendl, Jaroslav; Brezovsky, Jan; Prokop, Zbynek; Damborsky, Jiri

    2014-03-21

    Anthropogenic halogenated compounds were unknown to nature until the industrial revolution, and microorganisms have not had sufficient time to evolve enzymes for their degradation. The lack of efficient enzymes and natural pathways can be addressed through a combination of protein and metabolic engineering. We have assembled a synthetic route for conversion of the highly toxic and recalcitrant 1,2,3-trichloropropane to glycerol in Escherichia coli, and used it for a systematic study of pathway bottlenecks. Optimal ratios of enzymes for the maximal production of glycerol, and minimal toxicity of metabolites were predicted using a mathematical model. The strains containing the expected optimal ratios of enzymes were constructed and characterized for their viability and degradation efficiency. Excellent agreement between predicted and experimental data was observed. The validated model was used to quantitatively describe the kinetic limitations of currently available enzyme variants and predict improvements required for further pathway optimization. This highlights the potential of forward engineering of microorganisms for the degradation of toxic anthropogenic compounds.

  8. A review of: application of synthetic scaffold in tissue engineering heart valves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fallahiarezoudar, Ehsan; Ahmadipourroudposht, Mohaddeseh; Idris, Ani; Mohd Yusof, Noordin

    2015-03-01

    The four heart valves represented in the mammalian hearts are responsible for maintaining unidirectional, non-hinder blood flow. The heart valve leaflets synchronically open and close approximately 4 million times a year and more than 3 billion times during the life. Valvular heart dysfunction is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. When one of the valves malfunctions, the medical choice is may be to replace the original valves with an artificial one. Currently, the mechanical and biological artificial valves are clinically used with some drawbacks. Tissue engineering heart valve concept represents a new technique to enhance the current model. In tissue engineering method, a three-dimensional scaffold is fabricated as the template for neo-tissue development. Appropriate cells are seeded to the matrix in vitro. Various approaches have been investigated either in scaffold biomaterials and fabrication techniques or cell source and cultivation methods. The available results of ongoing experiments indicate a promising future in this area (particularly in combination of bone marrow stem cells with synthetic scaffold), which can eliminate the need for lifelong anti-coagulation medication, durability and reoperation problems. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Visual gene developer: a fully programmable bioinformatics software for synthetic gene optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McDonald Karen

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Direct gene synthesis is becoming more popular owing to decreases in gene synthesis pricing. Compared with using natural genes, gene synthesis provides a good opportunity to optimize gene sequence for specific applications. In order to facilitate gene optimization, we have developed a stand-alone software called Visual Gene Developer. Results The software not only provides general functions for gene analysis and optimization along with an interactive user-friendly interface, but also includes unique features such as programming capability, dedicated mRNA secondary structure prediction, artificial neural network modeling, network & multi-threaded computing, and user-accessible programming modules. The software allows a user to analyze and optimize a sequence using main menu functions or specialized module windows. Alternatively, gene optimization can be initiated by designing a gene construct and configuring an optimization strategy. A user can choose several predefined or user-defined algorithms to design a complicated strategy. The software provides expandable functionality as platform software supporting module development using popular script languages such as VBScript and JScript in the software programming environment. Conclusion Visual Gene Developer is useful for both researchers who want to quickly analyze and optimize genes, and those who are interested in developing and testing new algorithms in bioinformatics. The software is available for free download at http://www.visualgenedeveloper.net.

  10. Parts & Pools: A Framework for Modular Design of Synthetic Gene Circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marchisio, Mario Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Published in 2008, Parts & Pools represents one of the first attempts to conceptualize the modular design of bacterial synthetic gene circuits with Standard Biological Parts (DNA segments) and Pools of molecules referred to as common signal carriers (e.g., RNA polymerases and ribosomes). The original framework for modeling bacterial components and designing prokaryotic circuits evolved over the last years and brought, first, to the development of an algorithm for the automatic design of Boolean gene circuits. This is a remarkable achievement since gene digital circuits have a broad range of applications that goes from biosensors for health and environment care to computational devices. More recently, Parts & Pools was enabled to give a proper formal description of eukaryotic biological circuit components. This was possible by employing a rule-based modeling approach, a technique that permits a faithful calculation of all the species and reactions involved in complex systems such as eukaryotic cells and compartments. In this way, Parts & Pools is currently suitable for the visual and modular design of synthetic gene circuits in yeast and mammalian cells too.

  11. Enzyme engineering: A synthetic biology approach for more effective library generation and automated high-throughput screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebert, Maximilian C. C. J. C.; Mugford, Paul F.; Pelletier, Joelle N.

    2017-01-01

    The Golden Gate strategy entails the use of type IIS restriction enzymes, which cut outside of their recognition sequence. It enables unrestricted design of unique DNA fragments that can be readily and seamlessly recombined. Successfully employed in other synthetic biology applications, we demonstrate its advantageous use to engineer a biocatalyst. Hot-spots for mutations were individuated in three distinct regions of Candida antarctica lipase A (Cal-A), the biocatalyst chosen as a target to demonstrate the versatility of this recombination method. The three corresponding gene segments were subjected to the most appropriate method of mutagenesis (targeted or random). Their straightforward reassembly allowed combining products of different mutagenesis methods in a single round for rapid production of a series of diverse libraries, thus facilitating directed evolution. Screening to improve discrimination of short-chain versus long-chain fatty acid substrates was aided by development of a general, automated method for visual discrimination of the hydrolysis of varied substrates by whole cells. PMID:28178357

  12. Enzyme engineering: A synthetic biology approach for more effective library generation and automated high-throughput screening.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Quaglia

    Full Text Available The Golden Gate strategy entails the use of type IIS restriction enzymes, which cut outside of their recognition sequence. It enables unrestricted design of unique DNA fragments that can be readily and seamlessly recombined. Successfully employed in other synthetic biology applications, we demonstrate its advantageous use to engineer a biocatalyst. Hot-spots for mutations were individuated in three distinct regions of Candida antarctica lipase A (Cal-A, the biocatalyst chosen as a target to demonstrate the versatility of this recombination method. The three corresponding gene segments were subjected to the most appropriate method of mutagenesis (targeted or random. Their straightforward reassembly allowed combining products of different mutagenesis methods in a single round for rapid production of a series of diverse libraries, thus facilitating directed evolution. Screening to improve discrimination of short-chain versus long-chain fatty acid substrates was aided by development of a general, automated method for visual discrimination of the hydrolysis of varied substrates by whole cells.

  13. Engineered bacterial hydrophobic oligopeptide repeats in a synthetic yeast prion, [REP-PSI+

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fátima eGasset-Rosa

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The yeast translation termination factor Sup35p, by aggregating as the [PSI+] prion, enables ribosomes to read-through stop codons, thus expanding the diversity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteome. Yeast prions are functional amyloids that replicate by templating their conformation on native protein molecules, then assembling as large aggregates and fibers. Prions propagate epigenetically from mother to daughter cells by fragmentation of such assemblies. In the N-terminal prion-forming domain, Sup35p has glutamine/asparagine-rich oligopeptide repeats (OPRs, which enable propagation through chaperone-elicited shearing. We have engineered chimeras by replacing the polar OPRs in Sup35p by up to five repeats of a hydrophobic amyloidogenic sequence from the synthetic bacterial prionoid RepA-WH1. The resulting hybrid, [REP-PSI+], i was functional in a stop codon read-through assay in S. cerevisiae; ii generates weak phenotypic variants upon both its expression or transformation into [psi-] cells; iii these variants correlated with high molecular weight aggregates resistant to SDS during electrophoresis; and iv according to fluorescence microscopy, the fusion of the prion domains from the engineered chimeras to the reporter protein mCherry generated perivacuolar aggregate foci in yeast cells. All these are signatures of bona fide yeast prions. As assessed through biophysical approaches, the chimeras assembled as oligomers rather than as the fibers characteristic of [PSI+]. These results suggest that it is the balance between polar and hydrophobic residues in OPRs what determines prion conformational dynamics. In addition, our findings illustrate the feasibility of enabling new propagation traits in yeast prions by engineering OPRs with heterologous amyloidogenic sequence repeats.

  14. Synthetic Nucleic Acid Analogues in Gene Therapy: An Update for Peptide-Oligonucleotide Conjugates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taskova, Maria; Mantsiou, Anna; Astakhova, Kira

    2017-09-05

    The main objective of this work is to provide an update on synthetic nucleic acid analogues and nanoassemblies as tools in gene therapy. In particular, the synthesis and properties of peptide-oligonucleotide conjugates (POCs), which have high potential in research and as therapeutics, are described in detail. The exploration of POCs has already led to fruitful results in the treatment of neurological diseases, lung disorders, cancer, leukemia, viral, and bacterial infections. However, delivery and in vivo stability are the major barriers to the clinical application of POCs and other analogues that still have to be overcome. This review summarizes recent achievements in the delivery and in vivo administration of synthetic nucleic acid analogues, focusing on POCs, and compares their efficiency. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Microbial production of natural and non-natural flavonoids: Pathway engineering, directed evolution and systems/synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ramesh Prasad; Parajuli, Prakash; Koffas, Mattheos A G; Sohng, Jae Kyung

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances made in pathway engineering, directed evolution, and systems/synthetic biology approaches employed in the production and modification of flavonoids from microbial cells. The review is divided into two major parts. In the first, various metabolic engineering and system/synthetic biology approaches used for production of flavonoids and derivatives are discussed broadly. All the manipulations/engineering accomplished on the microorganisms since 2000 are described in detail along with the biosynthetic pathway enzymes, their sources, structures of the compounds, and yield of each product. In the second part of the review, post-modifications of flavonoids by four major reactions, namely glycosylations, methylations, hydroxylations and prenylations using recombinant strains are described. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Synthetic bone substitute engineered with amniotic epithelial cells enhances bone regeneration after maxillary sinus augmentation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Barboni

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Evidence has been provided that a cell-based therapy combined with the use of bioactive materials may significantly improve bone regeneration prior to dental implant, although the identification of an ideal source of progenitor/stem cells remains to be determined. AIM: In the present research, the bone regenerative property of an emerging source of progenitor cells, the amniotic epithelial cells (AEC, loaded on a calcium-phosphate synthetic bone substitute, made by direct rapid prototyping (rPT technique, was evaluated in an animal study. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Two blocks of synthetic bone substitute (∼0.14 cm(3, alone or engineered with 1×10(6 ovine AEC (oAEC, were grafted bilaterally into maxillary sinuses of six adult sheep, an animal model chosen for its high translational value in dentistry. The sheep were then randomly divided into two groups and sacrificed at 45 and 90 days post implantation (p.i.. Tissue regeneration was evaluated in the sinus explants by micro-computer tomography (micro-CT, morphological, morphometric and biochemical analyses. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The obtained data suggest that scaffold integration and bone deposition are positively influenced by allotransplantated oAEC. Sinus explants derived from sheep grafted with oAEC engineered scaffolds displayed a reduced fibrotic reaction, a limited inflammatory response and an accelerated process of angiogenesis. In addition, the presence of oAEC significantly stimulated osteogenesis either by enhancing bone deposition or making more extent the foci of bone nucleation. Besides the modulatory role played by oAEC in the crucial events successfully guiding tissue regeneration (angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor expression and inflammation, data provided herein show that oAEC were also able to directly participate in the process of bone deposition, as suggested by the presence of oAEC entrapped within the newly deposited osteoid matrix and by their

  17. Bayesian Orthogonal Least Squares (BOLS algorithm for reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Chang

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A reverse engineering of gene regulatory network with large number of genes and limited number of experimental data points is a computationally challenging task. In particular, reverse engineering using linear systems is an underdetermined and ill conditioned problem, i.e. the amount of microarray data is limited and the solution is very sensitive to noise in the data. Therefore, the reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks with large number of genes and limited number of data points requires rigorous optimization algorithm. Results This study presents a novel algorithm for reverse engineering with linear systems. The proposed algorithm is a combination of the orthogonal least squares, second order derivative for network pruning, and Bayesian model comparison. In this study, the entire network is decomposed into a set of small networks that are defined as unit networks. The algorithm provides each unit network with P(D|Hi, which is used as confidence level. The unit network with higher P(D|Hi has a higher confidence such that the unit network is correctly elucidated. Thus, the proposed algorithm is able to locate true positive interactions using P(D|Hi, which is a unique property of the proposed algorithm. The algorithm is evaluated with synthetic and Saccharomyces cerevisiae expression data using the dynamic Bayesian network. With synthetic data, it is shown that the performance of the algorithm depends on the number of genes, noise level, and the number of data points. With Yeast expression data, it is shown that there is remarkable number of known physical or genetic events among all interactions elucidated by the proposed algorithm. The performance of the algorithm is compared with Sparse Bayesian Learning algorithm using both synthetic and Saccharomyces cerevisiae expression data sets. The comparison experiments show that the algorithm produces sparser solutions with less false positives than Sparse Bayesian

  18. Pod of Ultrasonic Detection of Synthetic Hard Alpha Inclusions in Titanium Aircraft Engine Forgings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, R. B.; Meeker, W. Q.; Brasche, L. J. H.

    2011-06-01

    The probability of detection (POD) of inspection techniques is a key input to estimating the lives of structural components such as aircraft engines. This paper describes work conducted as a part of the development of POD curves for the ultrasonic detection of synthetic hard alpha (SHA) inclusions in titanium aircraft engine forgings. The sample upon which the POD curves are to be based contains four types of right circular SHAs that have been embedded in a representative titanium forging, as well as a number of flat bottomed holes (FBHs). The SHAs were of two sizes, ♯3 and ♯5, with each size including seeds with nominal nitrogen concentrations of both 3 and 17 wt. %. The FBHs included sizes of ♯1, ♯3, and ♯5. This discreteness of the data poses a number of challenges to standard processes for determining POD. For example, at each concentration of nitrogen, there are only two sizes, with 10 inspection opportunities each. Fully empirical, standard methodologies such as â versus a provide less than an ideal framework for such an analysis. For example, there is no way to describe the beam limiting effect whereby the signal no longer increases the flaw grows larger than the beam, one can only determine POD at the two concentration levels present in the block, and confidence bounds tend to be broad because of the limited data available for each case. In this paper, we will describe strategies involving the use of physics-based models to overcome these difficulties by allowing the data from all reflectors to be analyzed by a single statistical model. Included will be a discussion of the development of the physics-based model, its comparison to the experimental data (obtained at multiple sites with multiple operators) and its implications regarding the statistical analysis, whose details will be given in a separate article by Li et al. in this volume.

  19. Tissue engineered esophagus scaffold constructed with porcine small intestinal submucosa and synthetic polymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Mei-Rong; Gong, Mei; Da, Lin-Cui; Bai, Lin; Li, Xiu-Qun; Chen, Ke-Fei; Li-Ling, Jesse; Yang, Zhi-Ming; Xie, Hui-Qi

    2014-02-01

    Acellular porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS) has been successfully used for reconstructing esophagus with half circumferential defects. However, repairing full circumferential esophageal defects with SIS has been restricted due to the latter's poor mechanical properties. In the present study, synthetic polyesters biomaterial poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx) and poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) have been used to improve the mechanical properties of SIS. Feasibility of SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA composite material scaffold for esophageal tissue engineering has been assessed through a series of testing. The appropriate mixing ratio of PHBHHx and PLGA polymers has been determined as 5:5 by mechanical testing and in vitro degradation experiment. The morphology of constructed membranous and tubular scaffolds was also characterized. As confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the contents of VEGF and TGF-β have respectively reached 657 ± 18 ng mL(-1) and 130 ± 4 pg mL(-1) within the SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA specimens. Biocompatibility of the SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA specimens with rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) was also evaluated by scanning electron microscopy and a live-dead cell viability assay. Actin filaments of MSCs on the composite materials were labeled. Biological safety of the extract from SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA specimens, measured as hemolysis rate, was all lower than 5%. Compared with SIS and SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA specimens, inflammatory reaction provoked by the PHBHHx-PLGA specimens in rats was however more severe. Our results have suggested that SIS/PHBHHx-PLGA composite material can offer a new approach for esophageal tissue engineering.

  20. Efficient fdCas9 Synthetic Endonuclease with Improved Specificity for Precise Genome Engineering

    KAUST Repository

    Aouida, Mustapha

    2015-07-30

    The Cas9 endonuclease is used for genome editing applications in diverse eukaryotic species. A high frequency of off-target activity has been reported in many cell types, limiting its applications to genome engineering, especially in genomic medicine. Here, we generated a synthetic chimeric protein between the catalytic domain of the FokI endonuclease and the catalytically inactive Cas9 protein (fdCas9). A pair of guide RNAs (gRNAs) that bind to sense and antisense strands with a defined spacer sequence range can be used to form a catalytically active dimeric fdCas9 protein and generate double-strand breaks (DSBs) within the spacer sequence. Our data demonstrate an improved catalytic activity of the fdCas9 endonuclease, with a spacer range of 15–39 nucleotides, on surrogate reporters and genomic targets. Furthermore, we observed no detectable fdCas9 activity at known Cas9 off-target sites. Taken together, our data suggest that the fdCas9 endonuclease variant is a superior platform for genome editing applications in eukaryotic systems including mammalian cells.

  1. Synthetically engineered chitosan-based materials and their sorption properties with methylene blue in aqueous solution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Rui; Wilson, Lee D

    2012-12-15

    Chitosan (CS) and poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) were crosslinked by an ionic gelation method to form super absorbent polymers (SAPs). CS and PAA form amide bonds between the amino and carboxyl groups. The CS-PAA copolymers were synthetically engineered by varying the feed ratios of the prepolymer units. The copolymer materials possess tunable sorption and mucoadhesive properties with a backbone structure resembling proteinaceous materials. The sorption properties of the copolymers toward methylene blue (MB) in aqueous solution were studied using UV-Vis spectrophotometry at ambient pH and 295 K. The copolymers showed markedly varied interactions with MB, from physisorption- to chemisorption-like behavior, in accordance with their composition, surface area, and pore structure characteristics. The sorption isotherms were evaluated with the Sips model to provide estimates of the sorption properties. The sorbent surface area (271 and 943 m(2)/g) and the sorption capacity (Q(m)=1.03 and 3.59 mmol/g) were estimated for the CS-PAA copolymer/MB systems in aqueous solution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Azoreductase kinetics and gene expression in the synthetic dyes-degrading Pseudomonas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ameer Elfarash

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Microorganisms have an effective capability to degrade synthetic dyestuff enzymatically. In this study, two 16S rRNA identified Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial isolates (ASU3 and ASU6 have been screened to enzymatically degrade both Disperse Blue 64 (DB64 and Acid Yellow 17 (AY17 which resembles 2 of the synthetic dyes that causes aquatic environmental pollution. The expression of the azoR1 gene has been detected in the strains, the degradation percentage of DB64 and AY17 by stain ASU6 was found to exceed the ASU3. This returned to the differences in the expression levels of azoR1 between the ASU6 and the ASU3 which was confirmed by RT-PCR. In addition, the specific activity (U/mg protein of azoreductase in ASU6 was higher than ASU3 when MethylRed (MR, DB64 and AY17 were used as a substrate, separately. The azoreductase kinetics was studied to find the optimum condition for maintaining the stability of the enzyme. The degraded products separated by HPLC/MS were tested for their toxicity on two crop plants and they were nontoxic to the plants. Keywords: Azoreductase, Kinetics, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Synthetic dyes

  3. GOseek: a gene ontology search engine using enhanced keywords.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taha, Kamal

    2013-01-01

    We propose in this paper a biological search engine called GOseek, which overcomes the limitation of current gene similarity tools. Given a set of genes, GOseek returns the most significant genes that are semantically related to the given genes. These returned genes are usually annotated to one of the Lowest Common Ancestors (LCA) of the Gene Ontology (GO) terms annotating the given genes. Most genes have several annotation GO terms. Therefore, there may be more than one LCA for the GO terms annotating the given genes. The LCA annotating the genes that are most semantically related to the given gene is the one that receives the most aggregate semantic contribution from the GO terms annotating the given genes. To identify this LCA, GOseek quantifies the contribution of the GO terms annotating the given genes to the semantics of their LCAs. That is, it encodes the semantic contribution into a numeric format. GOseek uses microarray experiment data to rank result genes based on their significance. We evaluated GOseek experimentally and compared it with a comparable gene prediction tool. Results showed marked improvement over the tool.

  4. Prospects and progress in the production of valuable carotenoids: Insights from metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and computational approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankari, Mohan; Rao, Priya Rajendra; Hemachandran, Hridya; Pullela, Phani Kumar; Doss C, George Priya; Tayubi, Iftikhar Aslam; Subramanian, Babu; Gothandam, K M; Singh, Pooja; Ramamoorthy, Siva

    2018-01-20

    Carotenoids are isoprenoid pigments synthesized exclusively by plants and microorganisms and play critical roles in light harvesting, photoprotection, attracting pollinators and phytohormone production. In recent years, carotenoids have been used for their health benefits due to their high antioxidant activity and are extensively utilized in food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries. Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis occurs throughout the life cycle of plants, with vibrant changes in composition based on developmental needs and responses to external environmental stimuli. With advancements in metabolic engineering techniques, there has been tremendous progress in the production of industrially valuable secondary metabolites such as carotenoids. Application of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology has become essential for the successful and improved production of carotenoids. Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline; metabolic engineering approaches may provide insights into novel ideas for biosynthetic pathways. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge on carotenoid biosynthetic pathways and genetic engineering of carotenoids to improve their nutritional value. In addition, we investigated synthetic biological approaches for the production of carotenoids. Theoretical biology approaches that may aid in understanding the biological sciences are discussed in this review. A combination of theoretical knowledge and experimental strategies may improve the production of industrially relevant secondary metabolites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. DRUMS: a human disease related unique gene mutation search engine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zuofeng; Liu, Xingnan; Wen, Jingran; Xu, Ye; Zhao, Xin; Li, Xuan; Liu, Lei; Zhang, Xiaoyan

    2011-10-01

    With the completion of the human genome project and the development of new methods for gene variant detection, the integration of mutation data and its phenotypic consequences has become more important than ever. Among all available resources, locus-specific databases (LSDBs) curate one or more specific genes' mutation data along with high-quality phenotypes. Although some genotype-phenotype data from LSDB have been integrated into central databases little effort has been made to integrate all these data by a search engine approach. In this work, we have developed disease related unique gene mutation search engine (DRUMS), a search engine for human disease related unique gene mutation as a convenient tool for biologists or physicians to retrieve gene variant and related phenotype information. Gene variant and phenotype information were stored in a gene-centred relational database. Moreover, the relationships between mutations and diseases were indexed by the uniform resource identifier from LSDB, or another central database. By querying DRUMS, users can access the most popular mutation databases under one interface. DRUMS could be treated as a domain specific search engine. By using web crawling, indexing, and searching technologies, it provides a competitively efficient interface for searching and retrieving mutation data and their relationships to diseases. The present system is freely accessible at http://www.scbit.org/glif/new/drums/index.html. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Synthetic biology and occupational risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, John; Murashov, Vladimir; Schulte, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of biotechnology that involves applying the principles of engineering and chemical design to biological systems. Biosafety professionals have done an excellent job in addressing research laboratory safety as synthetic biology and gene editing have emerged from the larger field of biotechnology. Despite these efforts, risks posed by synthetic biology are of increasing concern as research procedures scale up to industrial processes in the larger bioeconomy. A greater number and variety of workers will be exposed to commercial synthetic biology risks in the future, including risks to a variety of workers from the use of lentiviral vectors as gene transfer devices. There is a need to review and enhance current protection measures in the field of synthetic biology, whether in experimental laboratories where new advances are being researched, in health care settings where treatments using viral vectors as gene delivery systems are increasingly being used, or in the industrial bioeconomy. Enhanced worker protection measures should include increased injury and illness surveillance of the synthetic biology workforce; proactive risk assessment and management of synthetic biology products; research on the relative effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic biocontainment methods; specific safety guidance for synthetic biology industrial processes; determination of appropriate medical mitigation measures for lentiviral vector exposure incidents; and greater awareness and involvement in synthetic biology safety by the general occupational safety and health community as well as by government occupational safety and health research and regulatory agencies.

  7. Imaging in solution of (Lys)(16)-containing bifunctional synthetic peptide/DNA nanoparticles for gene delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Louise; Kaszuba, Michael; Fabre, John W

    2004-04-07

    The physical properties of non-viral vector/DNA nanoparticles in physiological aqueous solution are poorly understood. A Fluid Particle Image Analyser (FPIA), normally used for analysis of industrial and environmental fluids, was used to visualise individual (Lys)(16)-containing peptide/DNA particles. Eight (Lys)(16)-containing synthetic peptides were used to generate peptide/DNA particles at a constant + to - charge ratio of 2.8:1 with 10 microg/ml of plasmid DNA in phosphate buffered saline. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and gene delivery studies were also performed. We present the first images of non-viral vector/DNA nanoparticles in physiological aqueous solution, together with precise measurements of individual particle size and shape in solution and, for the first time, an accurate measure of particle number. Particle size and shape, particle number, and efficiency for gene delivery varied markedly with different peptides. Under standard conditions for in vitro gene delivery, we estimate approximately 60 peptide/DNA nanoparticles per target cell, each containing approximately 70,000 plasmids. This novel capacity to image individual vector/DNA nanoparticles in solution and to count them accurately will enable a more precise assessment of non-viral gene delivery systems, and a more quantitative interpretation of gene delivery experiments.

  8. Synthetic methylotrophy: engineering the production of biofuels and chemicals based on the biology of aerobic methanol utilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, William B; Sandoval, Nicholas R; Bennett, Robert K; Fast, Alan G; Papoutsakis, Eleftherios T

    2015-06-01

    Synthetic methylotrophy is the development of non-native methylotrophs that can utilize methane and methanol as sole carbon and energy sources or as co-substrates with carbohydrates to produce metabolites as biofuels and chemicals. The availability of methane (from natural gas) and its oxidation product, methanol, has been increasing, while prices have been decreasing, thus rendering them as attractive fermentation substrates. As they are more reduced than most carbohydrates, methane and methanol, as co-substrates, can enhance the yields of biologically produced metabolites. Here we discuss synthetic biology and metabolic engineering strategies based on the native biology of aerobic methylotrophs for developing synthetic strains grown on methanol, with Escherichia coli as the prototype. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Quantitative Analyses of Core Promoters Enable Precise Engineering of Regulated Gene Expression in Mammalian Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ede, Christopher; Chen, Ximin; Lin, Meng-Yin; Chen, Yvonne Y.

    2016-01-01

    Inducible transcription systems play a crucial role in a wide array of synthetic biology circuits. However, the majority of inducible promoters are constructed from a limited set of tried-and-true promoter parts, which are susceptible to common shortcomings such as high basal expression levels (i.e., leakiness). To expand the toolbox for regulated mammalian gene expression and facilitate the construction of mammalian genetic circuits with precise functionality, we quantitatively characterized a panel of eight core promoters, including sequences with mammalian, viral, and synthetic origins. We demonstrate that this selection of core promoters can provide a wide range of basal gene expression levels and achieve a gradient of fold-inductions spanning two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, commonly used parts such as minimal CMV and minimal SV40 promoters were shown to achieve robust gene expression upon induction, but also suffer from high levels of leakiness. In contrast, a synthetic promoter, YB_TATA, was shown to combine low basal expression with high transcription rate in the induced state to achieve significantly higher fold-induction ratios compared to all other promoters tested. These behaviors remain consistent when the promoters are coupled to different genetic outputs and different response elements, as well as across different host-cell types and DNA copy numbers. We apply this quantitative understanding of core promoter properties to the successful engineering of human T cells that respond to antigen stimulation via chimeric antigen receptor signaling specifically under hypoxic environments. Results presented in this study can facilitate the design and calibration of future mammalian synthetic biology systems capable of precisely programmed functionality. PMID:26883397

  10. Review: Metabolic engineering of unusual lipids in the synthetic biology era.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aznar-Moreno, Jose A; Durrett, Timothy P

    2017-10-01

    The plant kingdom produces a variety of fatty acid structures, many of which possess functional groups useful for industrial applications. The species that produce these unusual fatty acids are often not suitable for large scale commercial production. The ability to create genetically modified plants, together with emerging synthetic biology approaches, offers the potential to develop alternative oil seed crops capable of producing high levels of modified lipids. In some cases, by combining genes from different species, non-natural lipids with a targeted structure can be conceived. However, the expression of the biosynthetic enzymes responsible for the synthesis of unusual fatty acids typically results in poor accumulation of the desired product. An improved understanding of fatty acid flux from synthesis to storage revealed that specialized enzymes are needed to traffic unusual fatty acids. Co-expression of some of these additional enzymes has incrementally increased the levels of unusual fatty acids in transgenic seeds. Understanding how the introduced pathways interact with the endogenous pathways will be important for further enhancing the levels of unusual fatty acids in transgenic plants. Eliminating endogenous activities, as well as segregating the different pathways, represent strategies to further increase accumulation of unusual lipids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Investigation of engine performance and emissions of a diesel engine with a blend of marine gas oil and synthetic diesel fuel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabi, Md Nurun; Hustad, Johan Einar

    2012-01-01

    This paper investigates diesel engine performance and exhaust emissions with marine gas oil (MGO) and a blend of MGO and synthetic diesel fuel. Ten per cent by volume of Fischer-Tropsch (FT), a synthetic diesel fuel, was added to MGO to investigate its influence on the diesel engine performance and emissions. The blended fuel was termed as FT10 fuel, while the neat (100 vol%) MGO was termed as MGO fuel. The experiments were conducted with a fourstroke, six-cylinder, turbocharged, direct injection, Scania DC 1102 diesel engine. It is interesting to note that all emissions including smoke (filter smoke number), total particulate matter (TPM), carbon monoxide (CO), total unburned hydrocarbon (THC), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and engine noise were reduced with FT10 fuel compared with the MGO fuel. Diesel fine particle number and mass emissions were measured with an electrical low pressure impactor. Like other exhaust emissions, significant reductions in fine particles and mass emissions were observed with the FT10 fuel. The reduction was due to absence of sulphur and aromatic compounds in the FT fuel. In-cylinder gas pressure and engine thermal efficiency were identical for both FT10 and MGO fuels.

  12. Gene interactions in the DNA damage-response pathway identified by genome-wide RNA-interference analysis of synthetic lethality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Haaften, Gijs; Vastenhouw, Nadine L; Nollen, Ellen A A; Plasterk, Ronald H A; Tijsterman, Marcel

    2004-01-01

    Here, we describe a systematic search for synthetic gene interactions in a multicellular organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We established a high-throughput method to determine synthetic gene interactions by genome-wide RNA interference and identified genes that are required to protect

  13. Physical non-viral gene delivery methods for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellott, Adam J; Forrest, M Laird; Detamore, Michael S

    2013-03-01

    The integration of gene therapy into tissue engineering to control differentiation and direct tissue formation is not a new concept; however, successful delivery of nucleic acids into primary cells, progenitor cells, and stem cells has proven exceptionally challenging. Viral vectors are generally highly effective at delivering nucleic acids to a variety of cell populations, both dividing and non-dividing, yet these viral vectors are marred by significant safety concerns. Non-viral vectors are preferred for gene therapy, despite lower transfection efficiencies, and possess many customizable attributes that are desirable for tissue engineering applications. However, there is no single non-viral gene delivery strategy that "fits-all" cell types and tissues. Thus, there is a compelling opportunity to examine different non-viral vectors, especially physical vectors, and compare their relative degrees of success. This review examines the advantages and disadvantages of physical non-viral methods (i.e., microinjection, ballistic gene delivery, electroporation, sonoporation, laser irradiation, magnetofection, and electric field-induced molecular vibration), with particular attention given to electroporation because of its versatility, with further special emphasis on Nucleofection™. In addition, attributes of cellular character that can be used to improve differentiation strategies are examined for tissue engineering applications. Ultimately, electroporation exhibits a high transfection efficiency in many cell types, which is highly desirable for tissue engineering applications, but electroporation and other physical non-viral gene delivery methods are still limited by poor cell viability. Overcoming the challenge of poor cell viability in highly efficient physical non-viral techniques is the key to using gene delivery to enhance tissue engineering applications.

  14. Differential contributions to the transcriptome of duplicated genes in response to abiotic stresses in natural and synthetic polyploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shaowei; Adams, Keith L

    2011-06-01

    Polyploidy has occurred throughout plant evolution and can result in considerable changes to gene expression when it takes place and over evolutionary time. Little is known about the effects of abiotic stress conditions on duplicate gene expression patterns in polyploid plants. We examined the expression patterns of 60 duplicated genes in leaves, roots and cotyledons of allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum in response to five abiotic stress treatments (heat, cold, drought, high salt and water submersion) using single-strand conformation polymorphism assays, and 20 genes in a synthetic allotetraploid. Over 70% of the genes showed stress-induced changes in the relative expression levels of the duplicates under one or more stress treatments with frequent variability among treatments. Twelve pairs showed opposite changes in expression levels in response to different abiotic stress treatments. Stress-induced expression changes occurred in the synthetic allopolyploid, but there was little correspondence in patterns between the natural and synthetic polyploids. Our results indicate that abiotic stress conditions can have considerable effects on duplicate gene expression in a polyploid, with the effects varying by gene, stress and organ type. Differential expression in response to environmental stresses may be a factor in the preservation of some duplicated genes in polyploids. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

  15. Multiplexed CRISPR/Cas9- and TAR-Mediated Promoter Engineering of Natural Product Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in Yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hahk-Soo; Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Brady, Sean F

    2016-09-16

    The use of DNA sequencing to guide the discovery of natural products has emerged as a new paradigm for revealing chemistries encoded in bacterial genomes. A major obstacle to implementing this approach to natural product discovery is the transcriptional silence of biosynthetic gene clusters under laboratory growth conditions. Here we describe an improved yeast-based promoter engineering platform (mCRISTAR) that combines CRISPR/Cas9 and TAR to enable single-marker multiplexed promoter engineering of large gene clusters. mCRISTAR highlights the first application of the CRISPR/Cas9 system to multiplexed promoter engineering of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. In this method, CRISPR/Cas9 is used to induce DNA double-strand breaks in promoter regions of biosynthetic gene clusters, and the resulting operon fragments are reassembled by TAR using synthetic gene-cluster-specific promoter cassettes. mCRISTAR uses a CRISPR array to simplify the construction of a CRISPR plasmid for multiplex CRISPR and a single auxotrophic selection to improve the inefficiency of using a CRISPR array for multiplex gene cluster refactoring. mCRISTAR is a simple and generic method for multiplexed replacement of promoters in biosynthetic gene clusters that will facilitate the discovery of natural products from the rapidly growing collection of gene clusters found in microbial genome and metagenome sequencing projects.

  16. Bacterial Cellular Engineering by Genome Editing and Gene Silencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobutaka Nakashima

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Genome editing is an important technology for bacterial cellular engineering, which is commonly conducted by homologous recombination-based procedures, including gene knockout (disruption, knock-in (insertion, and allelic exchange. In addition, some new recombination-independent approaches have emerged that utilize catalytic RNAs, artificial nucleases, nucleic acid analogs, and peptide nucleic acids. Apart from these methods, which directly modify the genomic structure, an alternative approach is to conditionally modify the gene expression profile at the posttranscriptional level without altering the genomes. This is performed by expressing antisense RNAs to knock down (silence target mRNAs in vivo. This review describes the features and recent advances on methods used in genomic engineering and silencing technologies that are advantageously used for bacterial cellular engineering.

  17. Multi-step excitation energy transfer engineered in genetic fusions of natural and synthetic light-harvesting proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancini, Joshua A; Kodali, Goutham; Jiang, Jianbing; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Lindsey, Jonathan S; Bryant, Donald A; Dutton, P Leslie; Moser, Christopher C

    2017-02-01

    Synthetic proteins designed and constructed from first principles with minimal reference to the sequence of any natural protein have proven robust and extraordinarily adaptable for engineering a range of functions. Here for the first time we describe the expression and genetic fusion of a natural photosynthetic light-harvesting subunit with a synthetic protein designed for light energy capture and multi-step transfer. We demonstrate excitation energy transfer from the bilin of the CpcA subunit (phycocyanin α subunit) of the cyanobacterial photosynthetic light-harvesting phycobilisome to synthetic four-helix-bundle proteins accommodating sites that specifically bind a variety of selected photoactive tetrapyrroles positioned to enhance energy transfer by relay. The examination of combinations of different bilin, chlorin and bacteriochlorin cofactors has led to identification of the preconditions for directing energy from the bilin light-harvesting antenna into synthetic protein-cofactor constructs that can be customized for light-activated chemistry in the cell. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. The need for separate operational and engineering user interfaces for command and control of airborne synthetic aperture radar systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Laura M.; McNamara, Laura A.

    2017-05-01

    In this paper, we address the needed components to create usable engineering and operational user interfaces (UIs) for airborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems. As airborne SAR technology gains wider acceptance in the remote sensing and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) communities, the need for effective and appropriate UIs to command and control these sensors has also increased. However, despite the growing demand for SAR in operational environments, the technology still faces an adoption roadblock, in large part due to the lack of effective UIs. It is common to find operational interfaces that have barely grown beyond the disparate tools engineers and technologists developed to demonstrate an initial concept or system. While sensor usability and utility are common requirements to engineers and operators, their objectives for interacting with the sensor are different. As such, the amount and type of information presented ought to be tailored to the specific application.

  19. Engineering liposomal nanoparticles for targeted gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zylberberg, C; Gaskill, K; Pasley, S; Matosevic, S

    2017-08-01

    Recent mechanistic studies have attempted to deepen our understanding of the process by which liposome-mediated delivery of genetic material occurs. Understanding the interactions between lipid nanoparticles and cells is still largely elusive. Liposome-mediated delivery of genetic material faces systemic obstacles alongside entry into the cell, endosomal escape, lysosomal degradation and nuclear uptake. Rational design approaches for targeted delivery have been developed to reduce off-target effects and enhance transfection. These strategies, which have included the modification of lipid nanoparticles with target-specific ligands to enhance intracellular uptake, have shown significant promise at the proof-of-concept stage. Control of physical and chemical specifications of liposome composition, which includes lipid-to-DNA charge, size, presence of ester bonds, chain length and nature of ligand complexation, is integral to the performance of targeted liposomes as genetic delivery agents. Clinical advances are expected to rely on such systems in the therapeutic application of liposome nanoparticle-based gene therapy. Here, we discuss the latest breakthroughs in the development of targeted liposome-based agents for the delivery of genetic material, paying particular attention to new ligand and cationic lipid design as well as recent in vivo advances.

  20. Gene delivery in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Y L; Chen, X G; W T, Godbey

    2015-11-01

    As a promising strategy to aid or replace tissue/organ transplantation, gene delivery has been used for regenerative medicine applications to create or restore normal function at the cell and tissue levels. Gene delivery has been successfully performed ex vivo and in vivo in these applications. Excellent proliferation capabilities and differentiation potentials render certain cells as excellent candidates for ex vivo gene delivery for regenerative medicine applications, which is why multipotent and pluripotent cells have been intensely studied in this vein. In this review, gene delivery is discussed in detail, along with its applications to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. A definition of a stem cell is compared to a definition of a stem property, and both provide the foundation for an in-depth look at gene delivery investigations from a germ lineage angle. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Advanced airbreathing engine lubricants study with a tetraester fluid and a synthetic paraffinic oil at 492 K (425 F)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaretsky, E. V.; Bamberger, E. N.

    1972-01-01

    Groups of 120-mm-bore angular-contact ball bearings made from AISI M-50 steel were fatigue tested with a tetraester and a synthetic paraffinic oil at a bearing temperature of 492 K (425 F) in an air environment. Bearing life exceeded AFBMA-predicted (catalog) life by factors in excess of 4 and 10 for the tetraester and synthetic paraffinic fluids, respectively. The final viscosities after 500 hours of operation were 14 and 6 times the initial values, respectively. During the same time period, when the test oil is replaced at a rate approximating the replenishment rate in actual commerical engine usage, no significant increase in lubricant viscosity with time was observed.

  2. Systems biology-guided identification of synthetic lethal gene pairs and its potential use to discover antibiotic combinations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aziz, Ramy K.; Monk, Jonathan M.; Lewis, R. M.

    2015-01-01

    be found that inhibit the growth of Gram-negative bacteria. One set of molecules was identified that, depending on the concentrations, inhibits E. coli and S. enterica serovar Typhimurium in an additive or antagonistic manner. These findings pinpoint specific ways in which to improve the predictive ability...... and phenotype, but their ability to accurately simulate gene-gene interactions has not been investigated extensively. Here we assess how accurately a metabolic model for Escherichia coli computes one particular type of gene-gene interaction, synthetic lethality, and find that the accuracy rate is between 25...

  3. Engineering BAC reporter gene constructs for mouse transgenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Yu; Maye, Peter

    2011-01-01

    A culmination of large-scale ideas and efforts has truly allowed for the use of large genomic DNA clones housed in Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) vectors for biological research. Fundamental advances that have allowed this to happen include (1) the completion of genome sequencing projects and the establishment of highly annotated web-accessible databases allowing for the rapid identity and purchase of BAC clones containing genes of interest. (2) The generation of methodologies to modify BACs genetically, allowing for the rapid creation of gene targeting constructs or transgenic reporter gene constructs using homologous recombination in bacteria.Recent efforts on our part have capitalized on these advances by using BACs and bacterial recombination methods to generate fluorescent protein reporter transgenic mice to study skeletal biology. The rationale for using BAC genomic DNA clones to engineer reporter gene constructs is based on their much larger size, thus increasing the likelihood that most, if not all, of a gene's respective cis regulator elements are present, giving a truer representation of the endogenous gene's expression. In a relatively short amount of time, we have become extremely proficient at generating BAC reporters. Contrary to the widely perceived notion that working with BACs is complex and difficult, we decided to write this chapter to encourage laboratories that are currently using traditional molecular cloning methods to engineer transgenic DNA constructs to strongly consider learning BAC methodologies. As an example, we walk through the steps we took to generate the transgenic reporter mouse line, Tenascin C (TNC)-mCherry.

  4. RegnANN: Reverse Engineering Gene Networks using Artificial Neural Networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Grimaldi

    Full Text Available RegnANN is a novel method for reverse engineering gene networks based on an ensemble of multilayer perceptrons. The algorithm builds a regressor for each gene in the network, estimating its neighborhood independently. The overall network is obtained by joining all the neighborhoods. RegnANN makes no assumptions about the nature of the relationships between the variables, potentially capturing high-order and non linear dependencies between expression patterns. The evaluation focuses on synthetic data mimicking plausible submodules of larger networks and on biological data consisting of submodules of Escherichia coli. We consider Barabasi and Erdös-Rényi topologies together with two methods for data generation. We verify the effect of factors such as network size and amount of data to the accuracy of the inference algorithm. The accuracy scores obtained with RegnANN is methodically compared with the performance of three reference algorithms: ARACNE, CLR and KELLER. Our evaluation indicates that RegnANN compares favorably with the inference methods tested. The robustness of RegnANN, its ability to discover second order correlations and the agreement between results obtained with this new methods on both synthetic and biological data are promising and they stimulate its application to a wider range of problems.

  5. Tissue-Engineered Skeletal Muscle Organoids for Reversible Gene Therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenburgh, Herman; DelTatto, Michael; Shansky, Janet; Lemaire, Julie; Chang, Albert; Payumo, Francis; Lee, Peter; Goodyear, Amy; Raven, Latasha

    1996-01-01

    Genetically modified murine skeletal myoblasts were tissue engineered in vitro into organ-like structures (organoids) containing only postmitotic myofibers secreting pharmacological levels of recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH). Subcutaneous organoid Implantation under tension led to the rapid and stable appearance of physiological sera levels of rhGH for up to 12 weeks, whereas surgical removal led to its rapid disappearance. Reversible delivery of bioactive compounds from postimtotic cells in tissue engineered organs has several advantages over other forms of muscle gene therapy.

  6. Metabolic engineering of ?-oxidation in Penicillium chrysogenum for improved semi-synthetic cephalosporin biosynthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veiga, T.; Gombert, A.K.; Landes, N.; Verhoeven, M.D.; Kiel, J.A.K.W.; Krikken, A.; Nijland, J.G.; Touw, H.; Luttik, M.A.H.; Van der Toorn, J.C.; Driessen, A.J.M.; Bovenberg, R.A.L.; Van den Berg, M.A.; Van der Klei, I.J.; Pronk, J.T.; Daran, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Industrial production of semi-synthetic cephalosporins by Penicillium chrysogenum requires supplementation of the growth media with the side-chain precursor adipic acid. In glucose-limited chemostat cultures of P. chrysogenum, up to 88% of the consumed adipic acid was not recovered in

  7. Metabolic engineering of beta-oxidation in Penicillium chrysogenum for improved semi-synthetic cephalosporin biosynthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veiga, Tânia; Gombert, Andreas K; Landes, Nils; Verhoeven, Maarten D; Kiel, Jan A K W; Krikken, Arjen M; Nijland, Jeroen G; Touw, Hesselien; Luttik, Marijke A H; van der Toorn, John C; Driessen, Arnold J M; Bovenberg, Roel A L; van den Berg, Marco A; van der Klei, Ida J; Pronk, Jack T; Daran, Jean-Marc

    Industrial production of semi-synthetic cephalosporins by Penicillium chrysogenum requires supplementation of the growth media with the side-chain precursor adipic acid. In glucose-limited chemostat cultures of P. chrysogenum, up to 88% of the consumed adipic acid was not recovered in

  8. Dynamic visual image modeling for 3D synthetic scenes in agricultural engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Li; Yan, Juntao; Li, Xiaobo; Ji, Yatai; Li, Xin

    The dynamic visual image modeling for 3D synthetic scenes by using dynamic multichannel binocular visual image based on the mobile self-organizing network. Technologies of 3D modeling synthetic scenes have been widely used in kinds of industries. The main purpose of this paper is to use multiple networks of dynamic visual monitors and sensors to observe an unattended area, to use the advantages of mobile network in rural areas for improving existing mobile network information service further and providing personalized information services. The goal of displaying is to provide perfect representation of synthetic scenes. Using low-power dynamic visual monitors and temperature/humidity sensor or GPS installed in the node equipment, monitoring data will be sent at scheduled time. Then through the mobile self-organizing network, 3D model is rebuilt by synthesizing the returned images. On this basis, we formalize a novel algorithm for multichannel binocular visual 3D images based on fast 3D modeling. Taking advantage of these low prices mobile, mobile self-organizing networks can get a large number of video from where is not suitable for human observation or unable to reach, and accurately synthetic 3D scene. This application will play a great role in promoting its application in agriculture.

  9. Reverse Engineering of Gene Regulatory Networks: A Comparative Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Hache

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks has been an intensively studied topic in bioinformatics since it constitutes an intermediate step from explorative to causative gene expression analysis. Many methods have been proposed through recent years leading to a wide range of mathematical approaches. In practice, different mathematical approaches will generate different resulting network structures, thus, it is very important for users to assess the performance of these algorithms. We have conducted a comparative study with six different reverse engineering methods, including relevance networks, neural networks, and Bayesian networks. Our approach consists of the generation of defined benchmark data, the analysis of these data with the different methods, and the assessment of algorithmic performances by statistical analyses. Performance was judged by network size and noise levels. The results of the comparative study highlight the neural network approach as best performing method among those under study.

  10. Engineered nonviral nanocarriers for intracellular gene delivery applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ojea-Jiménez, Isaac; Puntes, Victor F; Tort, Olivia; Lorenzo, Julia

    2012-01-01

    The efficient delivery of nucleic acids into mammalian cells is a central aspect of cell biology and of medical applications, including cancer therapy and tissue engineering. Non-viral chemical methods have been received with great interest for transfecting cells. However, further development of nanocarriers that are biocompatible, efficient and suitable for clinical applications is still required. In this paper, the different material platforms for gene delivery are comparatively addressed, and the mechanisms of interaction with biological systems are discussed carefully. (paper)

  11. Cloning of synthetic gene including antigens against Urinary Tract Infections in pET28a+ vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohreh Haghri

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available There are many different bacterial infections in the world that patients are suffering from and research teams are trying to find suitable ways to prevent and treat them. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs are most important infections in the world , and they are more common among women because vaginal cavity is near to urethral opening. The aim of this study is cloning of synthetic gene include antigens against UTIs in pET28a+ vector. Antibiotic resistant has been increasing because of antibiotic overuse recently, so It shows the necessity of developing a vaccine against these infections. There for, it will be imperative to develop a vaccine instead of antibiotics. This infection causes by many organisms, most important of which are Uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC, Proteus mirabilis and Klebsiella pneumoniae Uropathogenic Escherichia .coli is the most important microorganism that causes these infections more than other bacteria, so in developing a vaccine it is the most important one, that have to be considered. The synthetic Gene which was designed against these three bacteria including antigens which are important and common to cause these infections. This gene has involved 1293bp. It was ordered to Gene Ray Biotechnology. Primers were designed by Gene Runner. Gene and pET28a+ vector was checked by SnappGene. Synthetic gene was multiplied by PCR and cloned in pET28a+ vector. Construct was transformed into E. coli TOP10.The clone was confirmed by PCR, Digestion. This data indicates that this gene can be expressed and it might be a vaccine candidate to protect people from these infections in the future.

  12. BglBrick vectors and datasheets: A synthetic biology platform for gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Taek Soon; Krupa, Rachel A; Zhang, Fuzhong; Hajimorad, Meghdad; Holtz, William J; Prasad, Nilu; Lee, Sung Kuk; Keasling, Jay D

    2011-09-20

    As engineered biological systems become more complex, it is increasingly common to express multiple operons from different plasmids and inducible expression systems within a single host cell. Optimizing such systems often requires screening combinations of origins of replication, expression systems, and antibiotic markers. This procedure is hampered by a lack of quantitative data on how these components behave when more than one origin of replication or expression system are used simultaneously. Additionally, this process can be time consuming as it often requires the creation of new vectors or cloning into existing but disparate vectors. Here, we report the development and characterization of a library of expression vectors compatible with the BglBrick standard (BBF RFC 21). We have designed and constructed 96 BglBrick-compatible plasmids with a combination of replication origins, antibiotic resistance genes, and inducible promoters. These plasmids were characterized over a range of inducer concentrations, in the presence of non-cognate inducer molecules, and with several growth media, and their characteristics were documented in a standard format datasheet. A three plasmid system was used to investigate the impact of multiple origins of replication on plasmid copy number. The standardized collection of vectors presented here allows the user to rapidly construct and test the expression of genes with various combinations of promoter strength, inducible expression system, copy number, and antibiotic resistance. The quantitative datasheets created for these vectors will increase the predictability of gene expression, especially when multiple plasmids and inducers are utilized.

  13. BglBrick vectors and datasheets: A synthetic biology platform for gene expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Taek

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As engineered biological systems become more complex, it is increasingly common to express multiple operons from different plasmids and inducible expression systems within a single host cell. Optimizing such systems often requires screening combinations of origins of replication, expression systems, and antibiotic markers. This procedure is hampered by a lack of quantitative data on how these components behave when more than one origin of replication or expression system are used simultaneously. Additionally, this process can be time consuming as it often requires the creation of new vectors or cloning into existing but disparate vectors. Results Here, we report the development and characterization of a library of expression vectors compatible with the BglBrick standard (BBF RFC 21. We have designed and constructed 96 BglBrick-compatible plasmids with a combination of replication origins, antibiotic resistance genes, and inducible promoters. These plasmids were characterized over a range of inducer concentrations, in the presence of non-cognate inducer molecules, and with several growth media, and their characteristics were documented in a standard format datasheet. A three plasmid system was used to investigate the impact of multiple origins of replication on plasmid copy number. Conclusions The standardized collection of vectors presented here allows the user to rapidly construct and test the expression of genes with various combinations of promoter strength, inducible expression system, copy number, and antibiotic resistance. The quantitative datasheets created for these vectors will increase the predictability of gene expression, especially when multiple plasmids and inducers are utilized.

  14. Exposure to synthetic gray water inhibits amoeba encystation and alters expression of Legionella pneumophila virulence genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buse, Helen Y; Lu, Jingrang; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2015-01-01

    Water conservation efforts have focused on gray water (GW) usage, especially for applications that do not require potable water quality. However, there is a need to better understand environmental pathogens and their free-living amoeba (FLA) hosts within GW, given their growth potential in stored gray water. Using synthetic gray water (sGW) we examined three strains of the water-based pathogen Legionella pneumophila and its FLA hosts Acanthamoeba polyphaga, A. castellanii, and Vermamoeba vermiformis. Exposure to sGW for 72 h resulted in significant inhibition (P vermiformis (1 versus 92%), suggesting sGW induced maintenance of the actively feeding trophozoite form. During sGW exposure, L. pneumophila culturability decreased as early as 5 h (1.3 to 2.9 log10 CFU, P < 0.001) compared to controls (Δ0 to 0.1 log10 CFU) with flow cytometric analysis revealing immediate changes in membrane permeability. Furthermore, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR was performed on total RNA isolated from L. pneumophila cells at 0 to 48 h after sGW incubation, and genes associated with virulence (gacA, lirR, csrA, pla, and sidF), the type IV secretion system (lvrB and lvrE), and metabolism (ccmF and lolA) were all shown to be differentially expressed. These results suggest that conditions within GW may promote interactions between water-based pathogens and FLA hosts, through amoebal encystment inhibition and alteration of bacterial gene expression, thus warranting further exploration into FLA and L. pneumophila behavior in GW systems. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  15. General applicability of synthetic gene-overexpression for cell-type ratio control via reprogramming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishimatsu, Kana; Hata, Takashi; Mochizuki, Atsushi; Sekine, Ryoji; Yamamura, Masayuki; Kiga, Daisuke

    2014-09-19

    Control of the cell-type ratio in multistable systems requires wide-range control of the initial states of cells. Here, using a synthetic circuit in E. coli, we describe the use of a simple gene-overexpression system combined with a bistable toggle switch, for the purposes of enabling the wide-range control of cellular states and thus generating arbitrary cell-type ratios. Theoretically, overexpression induction temporarily alters the bistable system to a monostable system, in which the location of the single steady state of cells can be manipulated over a wide range by regulating the overexpression levels. This induced cellular state becomes the initial state of the basal bistable system upon overexpression cessation, which restores the original bistable system. We experimentally demonstrated that the overexpression induced a monomodal cell distribution, and subsequent overexpression withdrawal generated a bimodal distribution. Furthermore, as designed theoretically, regulating the overexpression levels by adjusting the concentrations of small molecules generated arbitrary cell-type ratios.

  16. Emergent bimodality and switch induced by time delays and noises in a synthetic gene circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chun; Du, Liping; Xie, Qingshuang; Wang, Tonghuan; Zeng, Chunhua; Nie, Linru; Duan, Weilong; Jia, Zhenglin; Wang, Canjun

    2017-10-01

    Based on the kinetic model for obtaining emergent bistability proposed by Tan et al. (2009), the effects of the fluctuations of protein synthesis rate and maximum dilution rate, the cross-correlation between two noises, and the time delay and the strength of the feedback loop in the synthetic gene circuit have been investigated through theoretical analysis and numerical simulation. Our results show that: (i) the fluctuations of protein synthesis rate and maximum dilution rate enhance the emergent bimodality of the probability distribution phenomenon, while the cross-correlation between two noises(λ), the time delay(τ) and the strength of the feedback loop(K) cause it to disappear; and (ii) the mean first passage time(MFPT) as functions of the noise strengths exhibits a maximum, this maximum is called noise-delayed switching (NDS) of the high concentration state. The NDS phenomenon shows that the noise can modify the stability of a metastable system in a counterintuitive way, the system remains in the metastable state for a longer time compared to the deterministic case. And the τ and the K enhances the stability of the ON state. The physical mechanisms for the switch between the ON and OFF states can be explained from the point of view of the effective potential.

  17. Cloning and expression of synthetic genes encoding angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE)-inhibitory bioactive peptides in Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losurdo, Luca; Quintieri, Laura; Caputo, Leonardo; Gallerani, Raffaele; Mayo, Baltasar; De Leo, Francesca

    2013-03-01

    A wide range of biopeptides potentially able to lower blood pressure through inhibition of the angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) is produced in fermented foods by proteolytic starter cultures. This work applies a procedure based on recombinant DNA technologies for the synthesis and expression of three ACE-inhibitory peptides using a probiotic cell factory. ACE-inhibitory genes and their pro-active precursors were designed, synthesized by PCR, and cloned in Escherichia coli; after which, they were cloned into the pAM1 E. coli-bifidobacteria shuttle vector. After E. coli transformation, constructs carrying the six recombinant clones were electrotransferred into the Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum M115 probiotic strain. Interestingly, five of the six constructs proved to be stable. Their expression was confirmed by reverse transcription PCR. Furthermore, transformed strains displayed ACE-inhibitory activity linearly correlated to increasing amounts of cell-free cellular lysates. In particular, 50 μg of lysates from constructs pAM1-Pro-BP3 and pAM1-BP2 showed a 50% higher ACE-inhibitory activity than that of the controls. As a comparison, addition of 50 ng of Pro-BP1 and Pro-BP3 synthetic peptides to 50 μg of cell-free extracts of B. pseudocatenulatum M115 wild-type strain showed an average of 67% of ACE inhibition; this allowed estimating the amount of the peptides produced by the transformants. Engineering of bifidobacteria for the production of biopeptides is envisioned as a promising cell factory model system. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. A systematic computational analysis of biosynthetic gene cluster evolution: lessons for engineering biosynthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marnix H Medema

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial secondary metabolites are widely used as antibiotics, anticancer drugs, insecticides and food additives. Attempts to engineer their biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs to produce unnatural metabolites with improved properties are often frustrated by the unpredictability and complexity of the enzymes that synthesize these molecules, suggesting that genetic changes within BGCs are limited by specific constraints. Here, by performing a systematic computational analysis of BGC evolution, we derive evidence for three findings that shed light on the ways in which, despite these constraints, nature successfully invents new molecules: 1 BGCs for complex molecules often evolve through the successive merger of smaller sub-clusters, which function as independent evolutionary entities. 2 An important subset of polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases evolve by concerted evolution, which generates sets of sequence-homogenized domains that may hold promise for engineering efforts since they exhibit a high degree of functional interoperability, 3 Individual BGC families evolve in distinct ways, suggesting that design strategies should take into account family-specific functional constraints. These findings suggest novel strategies for using synthetic biology to rationally engineer biosynthetic pathways.

  19. Synthetic polyspermine imidazole-4, 5-amide as an efficient and cytotoxicity-free gene delivery system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duan S

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Shi-Yue Duan, Xue-Mei Ge, Nan Lu, Fei Wu, Weien Yuan, Tuo JinSchool of Pharmacy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200240, People's Republic of ChinaAbstract: A chemically dynamic spermine-based polymer: polyspermine imidazole-4, 5-amide (PSIA, Mw > 7 kDa was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in terms of its ability to deliver nucleic acids. This polymer was made from an endogenous monomer professionally condensing genes in sperms, spermine, and a known safety drug metabolite, imidazole-4, 5-dicarboxylic acid, through a bis-amide bond conjugated with the imidazole ring. This polymer can condense pDNA at a W/W ratio above 10 to form polyplexes (100–200 nm in diameter, which is consistent with the observation by transmission electron microscopy (TEM, and the zeta potential was in the range of 10–20 mV. The pDNA packaged polymer was stable in phosphate buffer solution (PBS at pH 7.4 (simulated body fluid while the polyplexes were releasing pDNA into the solution at pH 5.8 (simulated endo-lysosomes due to the degradation of the bis-amide linkages in response to changes in pH values. PSIA-polyplexes were able to achieve efficient cellular uptake and luciferase gene silencing by co-transfection of pDNA and siRNA in COS-7 cells and HepG2 cells with negligible cytotoxicity. Biodistribution of Rhodamine B-labeled PSIA-polyplexes after being systemically injected in BALB/c nude-mice showed that the polyplexes circulated throughout the body, accumulated mainly in the kidney at 4 hours of sample administration, and moved to the liver and spleen after 24 hours. All the results suggested that PSIA offered a promising example to balance the transfection efficiency and toxicity of a synthetic carrier system for the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids.Keywords: gene delivery, polyspermine, cytotoxicity, transfection efficiency, biodistribution

  20. Development of Synthetic and Natural Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications Using Adipose Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Yunfan; Lu, Feng

    2016-01-01

    Adipose stem cells have prominent implications in tissue regeneration due to their abundance and relative ease of harvest from adipose tissue and their abilities to differentiate into mature cells of various tissue lineages and secrete various growth cytokines. Development of tissue engineering techniques in combination with various carrier scaffolds and adipose stem cells offers great potential in overcoming the existing limitations constraining classical approaches used in plastic and reconstructive surgery. However, as most tissue engineering techniques are new and highly experimental, there are still many practical challenges that must be overcome before laboratory research can lead to large-scale clinical applications. Tissue engineering is currently a growing field of medical research; in this review, we will discuss the progress in research on biomaterials and scaffolds for tissue engineering applications using adipose stem cells.

  1. Development of Synthetic and Natural Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications Using Adipose Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunfan He

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Adipose stem cells have prominent implications in tissue regeneration due to their abundance and relative ease of harvest from adipose tissue and their abilities to differentiate into mature cells of various tissue lineages and secrete various growth cytokines. Development of tissue engineering techniques in combination with various carrier scaffolds and adipose stem cells offers great potential in overcoming the existing limitations constraining classical approaches used in plastic and reconstructive surgery. However, as most tissue engineering techniques are new and highly experimental, there are still many practical challenges that must be overcome before laboratory research can lead to large-scale clinical applications. Tissue engineering is currently a growing field of medical research; in this review, we will discuss the progress in research on biomaterials and scaffolds for tissue engineering applications using adipose stem cells.

  2. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    He, F.; Murabito, E.; Westerhoff, H.V.

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out throughin silicotheoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement furtherin vitroandin vivoexperimental

  3. A Novel Application of Synthetic Biology and Directed Evolution to Engineer Phage-based Antibiotics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Meiye [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    The emergence of multiple drug resistant bacteria poses threats to human health, agriculture and food safety. Annually over 100,000 deaths and up to $20 billion loss to the U.S. economy are attributed to multiple drug resistant bacteria. With only four new chemical antibiotics in the drug development pipeline, we are in dire need of new solutions to address the emerging threat of multiple drug resistance. We propose a paradigm-changing approach to address the multi-drug resistant bacteria problem by utilizing Synthetic Biology (SynBio) methodologies to create and evolve “designer” bacteriophages or phages – viruses that specifically infect bacteria – to infect and kill newly emerging pathogenic bacterial strains WITHOUT the need for chemical antibiotics. A major advantage of using phage to combat pathogenic bacteria is that phages can co-evolve with their bacterial host, and Sandia can be the first in the world to establish an industrial scale Synthetic Biology pipeline for phage directed evolution for safe, targeted, customizable solution to bacterial drug resistance. Since there is no existing phage directed evolution effort within or outside of Sandia, this proposal is suitable as a high-risk LDRD effort to create the first pipeline for such an endeavor. The high potential reward nature of this proposal will be the immediate impact in decontamination and restoration of surfaces and infrastructure, with longer term impact in human or animal therapeutics. The synthetic biology and screening approaches will lead to fundamental knowledge of phage/bacteria co-evolution, making Sandia a world leader in directed evolution of bacteriophages.

  4. Feasibility of Using Full Synthetic Low Viscosity Engine Oil at High Ambient Temperatures in U.S. Army Engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-06-01

    9.2 6.4 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.1 6.5 6.53 Valve Tulip Deposits, Merits Piston Carbon, Demerits Piston Lacquer, Demerits Miscellanous Clyinder...Valve Tulip Deposits, Merits Piston Carbon, Demerits Piston Lacquer, Demerits Miscellanous Ring Sticking B-18 Engine Measurement Changes...NumberRatings Valve Tulip Deposits, Merits Piston Carbon, Demerits Piston Lacquer, Demerits Miscellanous Ring Sticking Scuffing % Area C-19

  5. Development of a broad-host synthetic biology toolbox for Ralstonia eutropha and its application to engineering hydrocarbon biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bi, Changhao; Su, Peter; Müller, Jana; Yeh, Yi-Chun; Chhabra, Swapnil R; Beller, Harry R; Singer, Steven W; Hillson, Nathan J

    2013-11-13

    The chemoautotrophic bacterium Ralstonia eutropha can utilize H2/CO2 for growth under aerobic conditions. While this microbial host has great potential to be engineered to produce desired compounds (beyond polyhydroxybutyrate) directly from CO2, little work has been done to develop genetic part libraries to enable such endeavors. We report the development of a toolbox for the metabolic engineering of Ralstonia eutropha H16. We have constructed a set of broad-host-range plasmids bearing a variety of origins of replication, promoters, 5' mRNA stem-loop structures, and ribosomal binding sites. Specifically, we analyzed the origins of replication pCM62 (IncP), pBBR1, pKT (IncQ), and their variants. We tested the promoters P(BAD), T7, P(xyls/PM), P(lacUV5), and variants thereof for inducible expression. We also evaluated a T7 mRNA stem-loop structure sequence and compared a set of ribosomal binding site (RBS) sequences derived from Escherichia coli, R. eutropha, and a computational RBS design tool. Finally, we employed the toolbox to optimize hydrocarbon production in R. eutropha and demonstrated a 6-fold titer improvement using the appropriate combination of parts. We constructed and evaluated a versatile synthetic biology toolbox for Ralstonia eutropha metabolic engineering that could apply to other microbial hosts as well.

  6. Study of mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of synthetic fibers nylon-and-polyester type, used in engineering products

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cardoso, Sergio Gomes

    2009-01-01

    Fibers are groups formed by molecular-chain-oriented filaments. Fibers play a fundamental role in human being's daily life and they can be found in several forms and geometries, such as filaments, yarns, beams, rope, fabric, composite, coatings, others. They are used in various segments such as civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics, military, naval, nautical, aviation, health, medicine, environment, communications, safety, space, others. Fibers are divided into two distinct classes: natural and chemical ones, which cover synthetic and man-made sub-classes. They can be produced from several materials, such as wool, cotton, rayon, flax, silk, rock, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, poly-propylene, aramid, glass, carbon, steel, ceramic, others. Globally, the participation of chemical fibers corresponds to approximately 59,9%, and the synthetic fiber polyester, the most used one, represents approximately 63% of the world market. Vital needs have led to the development of multi-function fibers and the focus has changed in the last 10 years with the use of nano technology for environmental responsibility and smart fibers. The study of mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of fibers is of great relevance for characterization and understanding of causes as consequence of failures. For such reason, it was selected technical fabrics made of high performance synthetic fiber nylon-and-polyester type, used in engineered products such as tires, belts, hoses and pneumatic springs, which have been analyzed in each processing phase. Fiber samples were extracted after each processing phase to be analyzed, by traction destructive tests and scanning electron microscopy. The results of analysis of mechanical properties showed loss of resistance to temperature and multi axial stress during fiber processing phase. Through microscopy tests, it was possible to find contamination, surface stains, plastic deformations, scaling, variations in the fracture faces of the filaments and

  7. Indeterminacy of reverse engineering of Gene Regulatory Networks: the curse of gene elasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arun Krishnan

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs have become a major focus of interest in recent years. A number of reverse engineering approaches have been developed to help uncover the regulatory networks giving rise to the observed gene expression profiles. However, this is an overspecified problem due to the fact that more than one genotype (network wiring can give rise to the same phenotype. We refer to this phenomenon as "gene elasticity." In this work, we study the effect of this particular problem on the pure, data-driven inference of gene regulatory networks.We simulated a four-gene network in order to produce "data" (protein levels that we use in lieu of real experimental data. We then optimized the network connections between the four genes with a view to obtain the original network that gave rise to the data. We did this for two different cases: one in which only the network connections were optimized and the other in which both the network connections as well as the kinetic parameters (given as reaction probabilities in our case were estimated. We observed that multiple genotypes gave rise to very similar protein levels. Statistical experimentation indicates that it is impossible to differentiate between the different networks on the basis of both equilibrium as well as dynamic data.We show explicitly that reverse engineering of GRNs from pure expression data is an indeterminate problem. Our results suggest the unsuitability of an inferential, purely data-driven approach for the reverse engineering transcriptional networks in the case of gene regulatory networks displaying a certain level of complexity.

  8. Synthetic metabolic engineering-a novel, simple technology for designing a chimeric metabolic pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Xiaoting

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The integration of biotechnology into chemical manufacturing has been recognized as a key technology to build a sustainable society. However, the practical applications of biocatalytic chemical conversions are often restricted due to their complexities involving the unpredictability of product yield and the troublesome controls in fermentation processes. One of the possible strategies to overcome these limitations is to eliminate the use of living microorganisms and to use only enzymes involved in the metabolic pathway. Use of recombinant mesophiles producing thermophilic enzymes at high temperature results in denaturation of indigenous proteins and elimination of undesired side reactions; consequently, highly selective and stable biocatalytic modules can be readily prepared. By rationally combining those modules together, artificial synthetic pathways specialized for chemical manufacturing could be designed and constructed. Results A chimeric Embden-Meyerhof (EM pathway with balanced consumption and regeneration of ATP and ADP was constructed by using nine recombinant E. coli strains overproducing either one of the seven glycolytic enzymes of Thermus thermophilus, the cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase of Pyrococcus horikoshii, or the non-phosphorylating glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase of Thermococcus kodakarensis. By coupling this pathway with the Thermus malate/lactate dehydrogenase, a stoichiometric amount of lactate was produced from glucose with an overall ATP turnover number of 31. Conclusions In this study, a novel and simple technology for flexible design of a bespoke metabolic pathway was developed. The concept has been testified via a non-ATP-forming chimeric EM pathway. We designated this technology as “synthetic metabolic engineering”. Our technology is, in principle, applicable to all thermophilic enzymes as long as they can be functionally expressed in the host, and thus would be

  9. Gene editing for cell engineering: trends and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Sanjeev K; Shukla, Pratyoosh

    2017-08-01

    Gene editing with all its own advantages in molecular biology applications has made easy manipulation of various production hosts with the discovery and implementation of modern gene editing tools such as Crispr (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), TALENs (Transcription activator-like effector nucleases) and ZFNs (Zinc finger nucleases). With the advent of these modern tools, it is now possible to manipulate the genome of industrial production hosts such as yeast and mammalian cells which allows developing a potential and cost effective recombinant therapeutic protein. These tools also allow single editing to multiple genes for knocking-in or knocking-out of a host genome quickly in an efficient manner. A recent study on "multiplexed" gene editing revolutionized the knock-out and knock-in events of yeast and CHO, mammalian cells genome for metabolic engineering as well as high, stable, and consistent expression of a transgene encoding complex therapeutic protein such as monoclonal antibody. The gene of interest can either be integrated or deleted at single or multiple loci depending on the strategy and production requirement. This review will give a gist of all the modern tools with a brief description and advances in genetic manipulation using three major tools being implemented for the modification of such hosts with the emphasis on the use of Crispr-Cas9 for the "multiplexing gene-editing approach" for genetic manipulation of yeast and CHO mammalian hosts that ultimately leads to a fast track product development with consistent, improved product yield, quality, and thus affordability for a population at large.

  10. Tunable promoters in synthetic and systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehli, Tore; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2012-01-01

    in synthetic biology. A number of tools exist to manipulate the steps in between gene sequence and functional protein in living cells, but out of these the most straight-forward approach is to alter the gene expression level by manipulating the promoter sequence. Some of the promoter tuning tools available......Synthetic and systems biologists need standardized, modular and orthogonal tools yielding predictable functions in vivo. In systems biology such tools are needed to quantitatively analyze the behavior of biological systems while the efficient engineering of artificial gene networks is central...

  11. Development of Synthetic and Natural Materials for Tissue Engineering Applications Using Adipose Stem Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Yunfan He; Feng Lu

    2016-01-01

    Adipose stem cells have prominent implications in tissue regeneration due to their abundance and relative ease of harvest from adipose tissue and their abilities to differentiate into mature cells of various tissue lineages and secrete various growth cytokines. Development of tissue engineering techniques in combination with various carrier scaffolds and adipose stem cells offers great potential in overcoming the existing limitations constraining classical approaches used in plastic and recon...

  12. Optimization of isopropanol production by engineered cyanobacteria with a synthetic metabolic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirokawa, Yasutaka; Suzuki, Iwane; Hanai, Taizo

    2015-05-01

    Cyanobacterium is an attractive host for the production of various chemicals and alternative fuels using solar energy and carbon dioxide. In previous study, we succeeded to produce isopropanol using engineered Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 under dark and anaerobic conditions (0.43 mM, 26.5 mg/l). In the present study, we report the further optimization of this isopropanol producing condition. We then optimized growth conditions for production of isopropanol by the engineered cyanobacteria, including the use of cells in early stationary phase and buffering of the production medium to neutral pH. We observed that shifting of cultures from dark and anaerobic to light and aerobic conditions during the production phase dramatically increased isopropanol production by conversion to isopropanol from acetate, byproduct under dark and anaerobic condition. Under the optimized production conditions, the titer of isopropanol was elevated 6-fold, to 2.42 mM (146 mg/l). Copyright © 2014 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Engineering Synthetic Proteins to Generate Ca2+Signals in Mammalian Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qudrat, Anam; Truong, Kevin

    2017-03-17

    The versatility of Ca 2+ signals allows it to regulate diverse cellular processes such as migration, apoptosis, motility and exocytosis. In some receptors (e.g., VEGFR2), Ca 2+ signals are generated upon binding their ligand(s) (e.g., VEGF-A). Here, we employed a design strategy to engineer proteins that generate a Ca 2+ signal upon binding various extracellular stimuli by creating fusions of protein domains that oligomerize to the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic tail of the VEGFR2. To test the strategy, we created chimeric proteins that generate Ca 2+ signals upon stimulation with various extracellular stimuli (e.g., rapamycin, EDTA or extracellular free Ca 2+ ). By coupling these chimeric proteins that generate Ca 2+ signals with proteins that respond to Ca 2+ signals, we rewired, for example, dynamic cellular blebbing to increases in extracellular free Ca 2+ . Thus, using this design strategy, it is possible to engineer proteins to generate a Ca 2+ signal to rewire a wide range of extracellular stimuli to a wide range of Ca 2+ -activated processes.

  14. A synthetic cadmium metallothionein gene (PMCd1syn) of Paramecium species: expression, purification and characteristics of metallothionein protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dar, Saira; Shuja, Rukhsana N; Shakoori, Abdul Rauf

    2013-02-01

    Metallothioneins (MTs) are metal binding proteins that are rich in cysteine residues constituting 10-30 % of the total protein, and in which the thiol groups bind to the metal ions. The increasing amount of metal ions in the medium have shown increased production of MTs by different organisms such as bacteria, protozoa and mammals like humans. PMCd1 is the first gene ever discovered in Paramecium, a ciliated protozoan, that could produce this MT in response to cadmium. In this study the PMCd1syn gene has been cloned in pET41a expression vector and expressed in an Escherichia coli BL21-codonplus strain for the first time. Since the gene PMCd1 amplified from Paramecium contained 10 codons, which could act as stop codons during expression in E. coli, this gene of 612 bps was synthesized to substitute these (stop) codons for the Paramecium sp. specific amino acids. For stability of the expressed protein, glutathione-S-transferase gene was fused with PMCd1syn gene and coexpressed. The cells expressing PMCd1syn demonstrated increased accumulation of cadmium. This is the first report of cadmium MT protein expressed from Paramecium species, particularly from synthetic MT gene (PMCd1syn). This fusion protein, the molecular weight of which has been confirmed to be 53.03 kDa with MALDI analysis, is rich in cysteine residues, and has been shown for the first time in this ciliate to bind to and sequester Cd(2+)-ions.

  15. Molecular Cloning Designer Simulator (MCDS): All-in-one molecular cloning and genetic engineering design, simulation and management software for complex synthetic biology and metabolic engineering projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Zhenyu; Vickers, Claudia E

    2016-12-01

    Molecular Cloning Designer Simulator (MCDS) is a powerful new all-in-one cloning and genetic engineering design, simulation and management software platform developed for complex synthetic biology and metabolic engineering projects. In addition to standard functions, it has a number of features that are either unique, or are not found in combination in any one software package: (1) it has a novel interactive flow-chart user interface for complex multi-step processes, allowing an integrated overview of the whole project; (2) it can perform a user-defined workflow of cloning steps in a single execution of the software; (3) it can handle multiple types of genetic recombineering, a technique that is rapidly replacing classical cloning for many applications; (4) it includes experimental information to conveniently guide wet lab work; and (5) it can store results and comments to allow the tracking and management of the whole project in one platform. MCDS is freely available from https://mcds.codeplex.com.

  16. CNS-restricted Transduction and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated Gene Deletion with an Engineered AAV Vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giridhar Murlidharan

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene therapy using recombinant adeno-associated viral (AAV vectors is emerging as a promising approach to treat central nervous system disorders such as Spinal muscular atrophy, Batten, Parkinson and Alzheimer disease amongst others. A critical remaining challenge for central nervous system-targeted gene therapy, silencing or gene editing is to limit potential vector dose-related toxicity in off-target cells and organs. Here, we characterize a lab-derived AAV chimeric (AAV2g9, which displays favorable central nervous system attributes derived from both parental counterparts, AAV2 and AAV9. This synthetic AAV strain displays preferential, robust, and widespread neuronal transduction within the brain and decreased glial tropism. Importantly, we observed minimal systemic leakage, decreased sequestration and gene transfer in off-target organs with AAV2g9, when administered into the cerebrospinal fluid. A single intracranial injection of AAV2g9 vectors encoding guide RNAs targeting the schizophrenia risk gene MIR137 (encoding MIR137 in CRISPR/Cas9 knockin mice resulted in brain-specific gene deletion with no detectable events in the liver. This engineered AAV vector is a promising platform for treating neurological disorders through gene therapy, silencing or editing modalities.

  17. Biocombinatorial Engineering of Fungal PKS-NRPS Hybrids for Production of Novel Synthetic Natural Products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Maria Lund

    Natural products have had a huge impact on the history of drug development, and today, these compounds continue to be a key source of novel drug leads. Over the years, natural products have been exploited for their pharmacological and biological activities in the treatment of many diseases....... Secondary metabolites (SMs) from bacteria, plants and filamentous fungi constitute a large group of important natural products. In this thesis I explore the biosynthesis of several fungal SMs along with the enzymes responsible for their synthesis. Specifically, my research focuses on the expression...... and engineering of a certain type of fungal enzymes – natural fusions of polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (PKS-NRPSs). The thesis is divided into two topics: 1) Expanding fungal chemodiversity through combinatorial biosynthesis 2) Two CRISPR-Cas9-based approaches to linking SMs...

  18. Expanding beyond canonical metabolism: Interfacing alternative elements, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin B. Reed

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic engineering offers an exquisite capacity to produce new molecules in a renewable manner. However, most industrial applications have focused on only a small subset of elements from the periodic table, centered around carbon biochemistry. This review aims to illustrate the expanse of chemical elements that can currently (and potentially be integrated into useful products using cellular systems. Specifically, we describe recent advances in expanding the cellular scope to include the halogens, selenium and the metalloids, and a variety of metal incorporations. These examples range from small molecules, heteroatom-linked uncommon elements, and natural products to biomining and nanotechnology applications. Collectively, this review covers the promise of an expanded range of elemental incorporations and the future impacts it may have on biotechnology.

  19. Extending Synthetic Routes for Oligosaccharides by Enzyme, Substrate and Reaction Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seibel, Jürgen; Jördening, Hans-Joachim; Buchholz, Klaus

    The integration of all relevant tools for bioreaction engineering has been a recent challenge. This approach should notably favor the production of oligo- and polysaccharides, which is highly complex due to the requirements of regio- and stereoselectivity. Oligosaccharides (OS) and polysaccharides (PS) have found many interests in the fields of food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics due to different specific properties. Food, sweeteners, and food ingredients represent important sectors where OS are used in major amounts. Increasing attention has been devoted to the sophisticated roles of OS and glycosylated compounds, at cell or membrane surfaces, and their function, e.g., in infection and cancer proliferation. The challenge for synthesis is obvious, and convenient approaches using cheap and readily available substrates and enzymes will be discussed. We report on new routes for the synthesis of oligosaccharides (OS), with emphasis on enzymatic reactions, since they offer unique properties, proceeding highly regio- and stereoselective in water solution, and providing for high yields in general.

  20. Engineering Escherichia coli with acrylate pathway genes for propionic acid synthesis and its impact on mixed-acid fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandasamy, Vijayalakshmi; Vaidyanathan, Hema; Djurdjevic, Ivana; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Ramachandran, K B; Buckel, Wolfgang; Jayaraman, Guhan; Ramalingam, Subramanian

    2013-02-01

    Fermentation-derived products are in greater demand to meet the increasing global market as well as to overcome environmental problems. In this work, Escherichia coli has been metabolically engineered with acrylate pathway genes from Clostridium propionicum for the conversion of D-lactic acid to propionic acid. The introduced synthetic pathway consisted of seven genes encoding the enzymes propionate CoA-transferase (Pct), lactoyl-CoA dehydratase (Lcd) and acryloyl-CoA reductase (Acr). The engineered strain synthesised propionic acid at a concentration of 3.7 ± 0.2 mM upon fermentation on glucose. This low production level could be attributed to the low activity of the recombinant enzymes in particular the rate-limiting enzyme, Acr. Interestingly, the recombinant pathway caused an increased lactate production in E. coli with a yield of 1.9 mol/mol of glucose consumed along with a decrease in other by-products. Down-regulation of the pfl (pyruvate formate lyase) genes and a possible inhibition of Pfl activity by the acrylate pathway intermediate, acryloyl-CoA, could have reduced carbon flow to the Pfl pathway with a concomitant increase in lactate production. This study reports a novel way of synthesising propionic acid by employing a non-native, user-friendly organism through metabolic engineering.

  1. A Leader Intron of a Soybean Elongation Factor 1A (eEF1A) Gene Interacts with Proximal Promoter Elements to Regulate Gene Expression in Synthetic Promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ning; McHale, Leah K; Finer, John J

    2016-01-01

    Introns, especially the first intron in the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR), can significantly impact gene expression via intron-mediated enhancement (IME). In this study, we demonstrate the leader intron of a soybean elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) gene (GmScreamM8) was essential for the high activity of the native promoter. Furthermore, the interaction of the GmScreamM8 leader intron with regulatory element sequences from several soybean eEF1A promoters was studied using synthetic promoters, which consisted of element tetramers upstream of a core promoter used to regulate a green fluorescent protein (gfp) reporter gene. Element tetramers, placed upstream of a GmScreamM8 core promoter, showed very high activity using both transient expression in lima bean cotyledons and stable expression in soybean hairy roots, only if the native leader intron was included, suggesting an interaction between intronic sequences and promoter elements. Partial deletions of the leader intron showed that a 222 bp intronic sequence significantly contributed to very high levels of GFP expression. Generation of synthetic intron variants with a monomeric or trimeric repeat of the 222 bp intronic sequence, yielded almost two-fold higher expression compared to the original intron, while partial deletion of the 222 bp intronic repeated sequence significantly decreased gene expression, indicating that this intronic sequence was essential for the intron-element interaction enhancement.

  2. Genetic transformation, recovery, and characterization of fertile soybean transgenic for a synthetic Bacillus thuringiensis cryIAc gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, C N; Adang, M J; All, J N; Boerma, H R; Cardineau, G; Tucker, D; Parrott, W A

    1996-09-01

    Somatic embryos of jack, a Glycine max (L.) Merrill cultivar, were transformed using microprojectile bombardment with a synthetic Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal protein gene (Bt cryIAc) driven by the 35S promoter and linked to the HPH gene. Approximately 10 g of tissue was bombarded, and three transgenic lines were selected on hygromycin-containing media and converted into plants. The recovered lines contained the HPH gene, but the Bt gene was lost in one line. The plasmid was rearranged in the second line, and the third line had two copies, one of which was rear-ranged. The CryIAc protein accumulated up to 46 ng mg-1 extractable protein. In detached-leaf bioassays, plants with an intact copy of the Bt gene, and to a lesser extent those with the rearranged copy, were protected from damage from corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea), soybean looper (Pseudoplusia includens), tobacco budworm (Heliothis virescens), and velvetbean caterpillar (Anticarsia gemmatalis). Corn earworm produced less than 3% defoliation on transgenic plants, compared with 20% on the lepidopteran-resistant breeding line GatIR81-296, and more than 40% on susceptible cultivars. Unlike previous reports of soybean transformation using this technique, all plants were fertile. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a soybean transgenic for a highly expressed insecticidal gene.

  3. Geo synthetics in hydraulic and coastal engineering: Filters, revetments and sand filled structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bezuijen, A.; Pilarczyk, K. W.

    2014-01-01

    The paper deals with 2 applications of geo textiles in coastal and hydraulic engineering: Geo textiles in filters and revetments; and geo textiles in sand filled structure. Geo textiles are often replacing granular filters. However, they have different properties than a granular filter. For the application of geo textiles in revetments, the consequences of the different properties will be shown: how permeability is influenced by a geo textile and what can be the consequences of the weight differences between granular and geo textile filters. In the other application, the filter properties of geo textiles are only secondary. In geo textile tubes and containers the geo textile is used as wrapping material to create large unties that will not erode during wave attach. the structures with geo textile tubes and containers serve as an alternative for rock based structures. The first of these structures were more or less constructed by trial and error, but research on the shape of the structures, the stability under wave attach and the durability of the used of the used material has given the possibility to use design tools for these structures. Recently also the morphological aspects of these structures have been investigated. This is of importance because regularly structures with geo textile tubes fail due to insufficient toe protection against the scour hole that that develops in front of the structure, leading to undermining of the structure. Recent research in the Dealt Flume of Deltares and the Large Wave Flume in Hannover has led to better understanding what mechanisms determine the stability under wave attach. It is shown that also the degree of filling is of importance and the position of the water level with respect to the tube has a large influence. (Author)

  4. Plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-05-01

    Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology toward the design and production of new devices. This emerging field should play an important role in future agriculture for traditional crop improvement, but also in enabling novel bioproduction in plants. In this review we discuss the design cycles of synthetic biology as well as key engineering principles, genetic parts, and computational tools that can be utilized in plant synthetic biology. Some pioneering examples are offered as a demonstration of how synthetic biology can be used to modify plants for specific purposes. These include synthetic sensors, synthetic metabolic pathways, and synthetic genomes. We also speculate about the future of synthetic biology of plants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. From noise to synthetic nucleoli: can synthetic biology achieve new insights?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciechonska, Marta; Grob, Alice; Isalan, Mark

    2016-04-18

    Synthetic biology aims to re-organise and control biological components to make functional devices. Along the way, the iterative process of designing and testing gene circuits has the potential to yield many insights into the functioning of the underlying chassis of cells. Thus, synthetic biology is converging with disciplines such as systems biology and even classical cell biology, to give a new level of predictability to gene expression, cell metabolism and cellular signalling networks. This review gives an overview of the contributions that synthetic biology has made in understanding gene expression, in terms of cell heterogeneity (noise), the coupling of growth and energy usage to expression, and spatiotemporal considerations. We mainly compare progress in bacterial and mammalian systems, which have some of the most-developed engineering frameworks. Overall, one view of synthetic biology can be neatly summarised as "creating in order to understand."

  6. Evaluating Synthetic Activation and Repression of Neuropsychiatric-Related Genes in hiPSC-Derived NPCs, Neurons, and Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seok-Man Ho

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Modulation of transcription, either synthetic activation or repression, via dCas9-fusion proteins is a relatively new methodology with the potential to facilitate high-throughput up- or downregulation studies of gene function. Genetic studies of neurodevelopmental disorders have identified a growing list of risk variants, including both common single-nucleotide variants and rare copy-number variations, many of which are associated with genes having limited functional annotations. By applying a CRISPR-mediated gene-activation/repression platform to populations of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitor cells, neurons, and astrocytes, we demonstrate that it is possible to manipulate endogenous expression levels of candidate neuropsychiatric risk genes across these three cell types. Although proof-of-concept studies using catalytically inactive Cas9-fusion proteins to modulate transcription have been reported, here we present a detailed survey of the reproducibility of gRNA positional effects across a variety of neurodevelopmental disorder-relevant risk genes, donors, neural cell types, and dCas9 effectors.

  7. Design and construction of a first-generation high-throughput integrated molecular biology platform for production of optimized synthetic genes and improved industrial strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    The molecular biological techniques for plasmid-based assembly and cloning of synthetic assembled gene open reading frames are essential for elucidating the function of the proteins encoded by the genes. These techniques involve the production of full-length cDNA libraries as a source of plasmid-bas...

  8. The diageotropica mutation and synthetic auxins differentially affect the expression of auxin-regulated genes in tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mito, N; Bennett, A B

    1995-01-01

    The effect of a tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) mutation, diageotropica (dgt), on the accumulation of mRNA corresponding to tomato homologs of three auxin-regulated genes, LeAux, LeSAUR, and Lepar, was examined. The dgt mutation inhibited the induction of LeAux and LeSAUR mRNA accumulation by naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) but had no effect on NAA-induced Lepar mRNA accumulation. The effect of two synthetic auxins, NAA and 3,7-dichloro-8-quinoline carboxylic acid (quinclorac), on the accumulation of LeAux, LeSAUR, and Lepar mRNA was also examined. Quinclorac induced the expression of each of the auxin-regulated genes, confirming its proposed mode of herbicidal action as an auxin-type herbicide. Concentrations of quinclorac at least 100-fold higher than NAA were required to induce LeAux and LeSAUR mRNA accumulation to similar levels, whereas Lepar mRNA accumulation was induced by similar concentrations of NAA and quinclorac. Collectively, these data suggest the presence of two auxin-dependent signal transduction pathways: one that regulates LeSAUR and LeAux mRNA accumulation and is interrupted by the dgt mutation and a second that regulates Lepar mRNA accumulation and is not defective in dgt tomato hypocotyls. These two auxin-regulated signal transduction pathways can be further discriminated by the action of two synthetic auxins, NAA and quinclorac. PMID:7480327

  9. Prequels to Synthetic Biology: From Candidate Gene Identification and Validation to Enzyme Subcellular Localization in Plant and Yeast Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foureau, E; Carqueijeiro, I; Dugé de Bernonville, T; Melin, C; Lafontaine, F; Besseau, S; Lanoue, A; Papon, N; Oudin, A; Glévarec, G; Clastre, M; St-Pierre, B; Giglioli-Guivarc'h, N; Courdavault, V

    2016-01-01

    Natural compounds extracted from microorganisms or plants constitute an inexhaustible source of valuable molecules whose supply can be potentially challenged by limitations in biological sourcing. The recent progress in synthetic biology combined to the increasing access to extensive transcriptomics and genomics data now provide new alternatives to produce these molecules by transferring their whole biosynthetic pathway in heterologous production platforms such as yeasts or bacteria. While the generation of high titer producing strains remains per se an arduous field of investigation, elucidation of the biosynthetic pathways as well as characterization of their complex subcellular organization are essential prequels to the efficient development of such bioengineering approaches. Using examples from plants and yeasts as a framework, we describe potent methods to rationalize the study of partially characterized pathways, including the basics of computational applications to identify candidate genes in transcriptomics data and the validation of their function by an improved procedure of virus-induced gene silencing mediated by direct DNA transfer to get around possible resistance to Agrobacterium-delivery of viral vectors. To identify potential alterations of biosynthetic fluxes resulting from enzyme mislocalizations in reconstituted pathways, we also detail protocols aiming at characterizing subcellular localizations of protein in plant cells by expression of fluorescent protein fusions through biolistic-mediated transient transformation, and localization of transferred enzymes in yeast using similar fluorescence procedures. Albeit initially developed for the Madagascar periwinkle, these methods may be applied to other plant species or organisms in order to establish synthetic biology platform. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Identification of genes for melatonin synthetic enzymes in 'Red Fuji' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.cv.Red) and their expression and melatonin production during fruit development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Qiong; Wang, Lin; Tan, Dun-Xian; Zhao, Yu; Zheng, Xiao-Dong; Chen, Hao; Li, Qing-Tian; Zuo, Bi-Xiao; Kong, Jin

    2013-11-01

    Melatonin is present in many edible fruits; however, the presence of melatonin in apple has not previously been reported. In this study, the genes for melatonin synthetic enzymes including tryptophan decarboxylase, tryptamine 5-hydroxylase (T5H), arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, and N-acetylserotonin methyltransferase were identified in 'Red Fuji' apple. Each gene has several homologous genes. Sequence analysis shows that these genes have little homology with those of animals and they only have limited homology with known genes of rice melatonin synthetic enzymes. Multiple origins of melatonin synthetic genes during the evolution are expected. The expression of these genes is fully coordinated with melatonin production in apple development. Melatonin levels in apple exhibit an inverse relationship with the content of malondialdehyde, a product of lipid peroxidation. Two major melatonin synthetic peaks appeared on July 17 and on October 8 in both unbagged and bagged apple samples. At the periods mentioned above, apples experienced rapid expansion and increased respiration. These episodes significantly elevate reactive oxygen species production in the apple. Current data further confirmed that melatonin produced in apple was used to neutralize the toxic oxidants and protect the developing apple against oxidative stress. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Transgenic rice plants expressing synthetic cry2AX1 gene exhibits resistance to rice leaffolder (Cnaphalocrosis medinalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manikandan, R; Balakrishnan, N; Sudhakar, D; Udayasuriyan, V

    2016-06-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is a major source of insecticidal genes imparting insect resistance in transgenic plants. Level of expression of transgenes in transgenic plants is important to achieve desirable level of resistance against target insects. In order to achieve desirable level of expression, rice chloroplast transit peptide sequence was fused with synthetic cry2AX1 gene to target its protein in chloroplasts. Sixteen PCR positive lines of rice were generated by Agrobacterium mediated transformation using immature embryos. Southern blot hybridization analysis of T 0 transgenic plants confirmed the integration of cry2AX1 gene in two to five locations of rice genome and ELISA demonstrated its expression. Concentration of Cry2AX1 in transgenic rice events ranged 5.0-120 ng/g of fresh leaf tissue. Insect bioassay of T 0 transgenic rice plants against neonate larvae of rice leaffolder showed larval mortality ranging between 20 and 80 % in comparison to control plant. Stable inheritance and expression of cry2AX1 gene was demonstrated in T 1 progenies through Southern and ELISA. In T 1 progenies, the highest concentration of Cry2AX1 and mortality of rice leaffolder larvae were recorded as 150 ng/g of fresh leaf tissue and 80 %, respectively. The Cry2AX1 expression even at a very low concentration (120-150 ng/g) in transgenic rice plants was found effective against rice leaffolder larvae.

  12. Gene expression analysis of skin grafts and cultured keratinocytes using synthetic RNA normalization reveals insights into differentiation and growth control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katayama, Shintaro; Skoog, Tiina; Jouhilahti, Eeva-Mari; Siitonen, H Annika; Nuutila, Kristo; Tervaniemi, Mari H; Vuola, Jyrki; Johnsson, Anna; Lönnerberg, Peter; Linnarsson, Sten; Elomaa, Outi; Kankuri, Esko; Kere, Juha

    2015-06-25

    Keratinocytes (KCs) are the most frequent cells in the epidermis, and they are often isolated and cultured in vitro to study the molecular biology of the skin. Cultured primary cells and various immortalized cells have been frequently used as skin models but their comparability to intact skin has been questioned. Moreover, when analyzing KC transcriptomes, fluctuation of polyA+ RNA content during the KCs' lifecycle has been omitted. We performed STRT RNA sequencing on 10 ng samples of total RNA from three different sample types: i) epidermal tissue (split-thickness skin grafts), ii) cultured primary KCs, and iii) HaCaT cell line. We observed significant variation in cellular polyA+ RNA content between tissue and cell culture samples of KCs. The use of synthetic RNAs and SAMstrt in normalization enabled comparison of gene expression levels in the highly heterogenous samples and facilitated discovery of differences between the tissue samples and cultured cells. The transcriptome analysis sensitively revealed genes involved in KC differentiation in skin grafts and cell cycle regulation related genes in cultured KCs and emphasized the fluctuation of transcription factors and non-coding RNAs associated to sample types. The epidermal keratinocytes derived from tissue and cell culture samples showed highly different polyA+ RNA contents. The use of SAMstrt and synthetic RNA based normalization allowed the comparison between tissue and cell culture samples and thus proved to be valuable tools for RNA-seq analysis with translational approach. Transciptomics revealed clear difference both between tissue and cell culture samples and between primary KCs and immortalized HaCaT cells.

  13. Non-electrostatic complexes with DNA: towards novel synthetic gene delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, J; Bessodes, M; Pitard, B; Mailhe, P; Scherman, D; Byk, G

    2000-05-01

    We have developed new DNA complexing amphiphile based on Hoechst 33258 interaction with DNA grooves. The synthesis and physicochemical characterisation of lipid/DNA complexes, as compared to that of classical lipopolyamine for gene delivery, are described and discussed.

  14. Synthetic antifreeze peptide

    OpenAIRE

    1991-01-01

    A synthetic antifreeze peptide and a synthetic gene coding for the antifreeze peptide have been produced. The antifreeze peptide has a greater number of repeating amino acid sequences than is present in the native antifreeze peptides from winter flounder upon which the synthetic antifreeze peptide was modeled. Each repeating amino acid sequence has two polar amino acid residues which are spaced a controlled distance apart so that the antifreeze peptide may inhibit ice formation. The synthetic...

  15. Disease resistance conferred by the expression of a gene encoding a synthetic peptide in transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Cary, Jeffrey W; Jaynes, Jesse M; Cleveland, Thomas E

    2005-11-01

    Fertile, transgenic cotton plants expressing the synthetic antimicrobial peptide, D4E1, were produced through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. PCR products and Southern blots confirmed integration of the D4E1 gene, while RT-PCR of cotton RNA confirmed the presence of D4E1 transcripts. In vitro assays with crude leaf protein extracts from T0 and T1 plants confirmed that D4E1 was expressed at sufficient levels to inhibit the growth of Fusarium verticillioides and Verticillium dahliae compared to extracts from negative control plants transformed with pBI-d35S(Omega)-uidA-nos (CGUS). Although in vitro assays did not show control of pre-germinated spores of Aspergillus flavus, bioassays with cotton seeds in situ or in planta, inoculated with a GFP-expressing A. flavus, indicated that the transgenic cotton seeds inhibited extensive colonization and spread by the fungus in cotyledons and seed coats. In planta assays with the fungal pathogen, Thielaviopsis basicola, which causes black root rot in cotton, showed typical symptoms such as black discoloration and constriction on hypocotyls, reduced branching of roots in CGUS negative control T1 seedlings, while transgenic T1 seedlings showed a significant reduction in disease symptoms and increased seedling fresh weight, demonstrating tolerance to the fungal pathogen. Significant advantages of synthetic peptides in developing transgenic crop plants that are resistant to diseases and mycotoxin-causing fungal pathogens are highlighted in this report.

  16. Synthetic spike-in standards for high-throughput 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tourlousse, Dieter M; Yoshiike, Satowa; Ohashi, Akiko; Matsukura, Satoko; Noda, Naohiro; Sekiguchi, Yuji

    2017-02-28

    High-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons (16S-seq) has become a widely deployed method for profiling complex microbial communities but technical pitfalls related to data reliability and quantification remain to be fully addressed. In this work, we have developed and implemented a set of synthetic 16S rRNA genes to serve as universal spike-in standards for 16S-seq experiments. The spike-ins represent full-length 16S rRNA genes containing artificial variable regions with negligible identity to known nucleotide sequences, permitting unambiguous identification of spike-in sequences in 16S-seq read data from any microbiome sample. Using defined mock communities and environmental microbiota, we characterized the performance of the spike-in standards and demonstrated their utility for evaluating data quality on a per-sample basis. Further, we showed that staggered spike-in mixtures added at the point of DNA extraction enable concurrent estimation of absolute microbial abundances suitable for comparative analysis. Results also underscored that template-specific Illumina sequencing artifacts may lead to biases in the perceived abundance of certain taxa. Taken together, the spike-in standards represent a novel bioanalytical tool that can substantially improve 16S-seq-based microbiome studies by enabling comprehensive quality control along with absolute quantification. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  17. Hybridization with synthetic oligonucleotides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szostak, J.W.; Stiles, J.I.; Tye, B.K.; Sherman, F.; Wu, R.

    1978-01-01

    Procedures are described for the use of synthetic oligonucleotides for Southern blot experiments and gene bank screening, and the effect of various mismatches on the efficiency of hybridization is demonstrated. The following topics are discussed: sensitivity vs. specificity, hybridization of a 12-mer to the lambda endolysin gene; hybridization of oligonucleotide probes to the E. coli lac operator; hybridization of synthetic probes to the CYC1 gene of yeast; and cloning eucaryotic genes. (HLW)

  18. Gene Expression Platform for Synthetic Biology in the Human Pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sorg, Robin A; Kuipers, Oscar P; Veening, Jan-Willem

    2015-01-01

    The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) is a bacterium that owes its success to complex gene expression regulation patterns on both the cellular and the population level. Expression of virulence factors enables a mostly hazard-free presence of the commensal, in balance with the

  19. Biosynthesis of therapeutic natural products using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Ali R; Shaw, William M; Ellis, Tom

    2016-10-01

    Natural products are a group of bioactive structurally diverse chemicals produced by microorganisms and plants. These molecules and their derivatives have contributed to over a third of the therapeutic drugs produced in the last century. However, over the last few decades traditional drug discovery pipelines from natural products have become far less productive and far more expensive. One recent development with promise to combat this trend is the application of synthetic biology to therapeutic natural product biosynthesis. Synthetic biology is a young discipline with roots in systems biology, genetic engineering, and metabolic engineering. In this review, we discuss the use of synthetic biology to engineer improved yields of existing therapeutic natural products. We further describe the use of synthetic biology to combine and express natural product biosynthetic genes in unprecedented ways, and how this holds promise for opening up completely new avenues for drug discovery and production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Inhibition of core gene of HCV 3a genotype using synthetic and vector derived siRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaliq, Saba; Jahan, Shah; Ijaz, Bushra; Ahmad, Waqar; Asad, Sultan; Pervaiz, Asim; Samreen, Baila; Khan, Mahwish; Hassan, Sajida

    2010-11-13

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major causative agent of liver associated diseases throughout the world, with genotype 3a responsible for most of the cases in Pakistan. Due to the limited efficiency of current therapy, RNA interference (RNAi) a novel regulatory and powerful silencing approach for molecular therapeutics through a sequence-specific RNA degradation process represents an alternative option. The current study was purposed to assess and explore the possibility of RNAi to silence the HCV-3a Core gene expression, which play complex role in regulation of cell growth and host genes expression essential for infectivity and disease progression. To identify the potent siRNA target sites, 5 small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against Core gene were designed and in vitro transcribed after consensus sequence analysis of different HCV-3a isolates. Antiviral effects of siRNAs showed upto 80% inhibition of Core gene expression by different siRNAs into Huh-7 cells as compared with Mock transfected and control siRNAs treated cells. For long lasting effect of siRNAs, vector based short hairpin siRNAs (shRNAs) were designed and tested against HCV-3a Core which resulted in a similar pattern of inhibition on RNA and protein expression of HCV Core as synthetic siRNAs. Furthermore, the efficacy of cell culture tested siRNA and shRNA, were evaluated for inhibition of HCV replication in HCV infected serum inoculated Huh-7 cells and a significant decrease in HCV viral copy number was observed. Our results support the possibility of using consensus siRNA and shRNA-based molecular therapy as a promising strategy in effective inhibition of HCV-3a genotype.

  1. Engineering a Synthetic Microbial Consortium for Comprehensive Conversion of Algae Biomass into Terpenes for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Weihua [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Wu, Benjamin Chiau-Pin [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Davis, Ryan Wesley [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Recent strategies for algae-based biofuels have primarily focused on biodiesel production by exploiting high algal lipid yields under nutrient stress conditions. However, under conditions supporting robust algal biomass accumulation, carbohydrate and proteins typically comprise up to ~80% of the ash-free dry weight of algae biomass. Therefore, comprehensive utilization of algal biomass for production of multipurpose intermediate- to high-value bio-based products will promote scale-up of algae production and processing to commodity volumes. Terpenes are hydrocarbon and hydrocarbon-like (C:O>10:1) compounds with high energy density, and are therefore potentially promising candidates for the next generation of value added bio-based chemicals and “drop-in” replacements for petroleum-based fuels. In this study, we demonstrated the feasibility of bioconversion of proteins into sesquiterpene compounds as well as comprehensive bioconversion of algal carbohydrates and proteins into biofuels. To achieve this, the mevalonate pathway was reconstructed into an E. coli chassis with six different terpene synthases (TSs). Strains containing the various TSs produced a spectrum of sesquiterpene compounds in minimal medium containing amino acids as the sole carbon source. The sesquiterpene production was optimized through three different regulation strategies using chamigrene synthase as an example. The highest total terpene titer reached 166 mg/L, and was achieved by applying a strategy to minimize mevalonate accumulation in vivo. The highest yields of total terpene were produced under reduced IPTG induction levels (0.25 mM), reduced induction temperature (25°C), and elevated substrate concentration (20 g/L amino acid mixture). A synthetic bioconversion consortium consisting of two engineering E. coli strains (DH1-TS and YH40-TS) with reconstructed terpene biosynthetic pathways was designed for comprehensive single-pot conversion of algal carbohydrates and proteins to

  2. Coupling gene regulatory patterns to bioprocess conditions to optimize synthetic metabolic modules for improved sesquiterpene production in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Bingyin; Plan, Manuel R; Carpenter, Alexander; Nielsen, Lars K; Vickers, Claudia E

    2017-01-01

    Assembly of heterologous metabolic pathways is commonly required to generate microbial cell factories for industrial production of both commodity chemicals (including biofuels) and high-value chemicals. Promoter-mediated transcriptional regulation coordinates the expression of the individual components of these heterologous pathways. Expression patterns vary during culture as conditions change, and this can influence yeast physiology and productivity in both positive and negative ways. Well-characterized strategies are required for matching transcriptional regulation with desired output across changing culture conditions. Here, constitutive and inducible regulatory mechanisms were examined to optimize synthetic isoprenoid metabolic pathway modules for production of trans -nerolidol, an acyclic sesquiterpene alcohol, in yeast. The choice of regulatory system significantly affected physiological features (growth and productivity) over batch cultivation. Use of constitutive promoters resulted in poor growth during the exponential phase. Delaying expression of the assembled metabolic modules using the copper-inducible CUP1 promoter resulted in a 1.6-fold increase in the exponential-phase growth rate and a twofold increase in productivity in the post-exponential phase. However, repeated use of the CUP1 promoter in multiple expression cassettes resulted in genetic instability. A diauxie-inducible expression system, based on an engineered GAL regulatory circuit and a set of four different GAL promoters, was characterized and employed to assemble nerolidol synthetic metabolic modules. Nerolidol production was further improved by 60% to 392 mg L -1 using this approach. Various carbon source systems were investigated in batch/fed-batch cultivation to regulate induction through the GAL system; final nerolidol titres of 4-5.5 g L -1 were achieved, depending on the conditions. Direct comparison of different transcriptional regulatory mechanisms clearly demonstrated that

  3. Role of gene therapy in tissue engineering procedures in rheumatology: the use of animal models.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kraan, P.M. van der; Loo, F.A.J. van de; Berg, W.B. van den

    2004-01-01

    Tissue engineering is not only the application of cells and scaffolds to generate a new tissue but should also bring into play biological principles to guide cellular behavior. A way to modify cellular behavior is genetic modification of the cells used for tissue engineering (gene therapy). In the

  4. Synthetic gene involving azobenzene-tethered T7 promoter for the photocontrol of gene expression by visible light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiya, Yukiko; Takagi, Toshiki; Ooi, Hideaki; Ito, Hiroshi; Liang, Xingguo; Asanuma, Hiroyuki

    2015-04-17

    In the present study, we demonstrate photoregulation of gene expression in a cell-free translation system from a T7 promoter containing two azobenzene derivatives at specific positions. As photoswitches, we prepared azobenzene-4'-carboxlyic acid (Azo) and 2,6-dimethylazobenzene-4'-carboxylic acid (DM-Azo), which were isomerized from trans to cis upon irradiation with UV light (λ azobenzene-4'-carobxylic acid (S-DM-Azo), which were cis-isomerized by irradiation with 400 nm visible light. Expression of green fluorescent protein from a promoter modified with S-Azo or S-DM-Azo could be induced by harmless visible light whereas that from a promoter modified with Azo or DM-Azo was induced only by UV light (340-360 nm). Thus, efficient photoregulation of green fluorescent protein production was achieved in a cell-free translation system with visible light without photodamage.

  5. Synthetic Botany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehm, Christian R; Pollak, Bernardo; Purswani, Nuri; Patron, Nicola; Haseloff, Jim

    2017-07-05

    Plants are attractive platforms for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. Plants' modular and plastic body plans, capacity for photosynthesis, extensive secondary metabolism, and agronomic systems for large-scale production make them ideal targets for genetic reprogramming. However, efforts in this area have been constrained by slow growth, long life cycles, the requirement for specialized facilities, a paucity of efficient tools for genetic manipulation, and the complexity of multicellularity. There is a need for better experimental and theoretical frameworks to understand the way genetic networks, cellular populations, and tissue-wide physical processes interact at different scales. We highlight new approaches to the DNA-based manipulation of plants and the use of advanced quantitative imaging techniques in simple plant models such as Marchantia polymorpha. These offer the prospects of improved understanding of plant dynamics and new approaches to rational engineering of plant traits. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  6. A search engine to identify pathway genes from expression data on multiple organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zambon Alexander C

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The completion of several genome projects showed that most genes have not yet been characterized, especially in multicellular organisms. Although most genes have unknown functions, a large collection of data is available describing their transcriptional activities under many different experimental conditions. In many cases, the coregulatation of a set of genes across a set of conditions can be used to infer roles for genes of unknown function. Results We developed a search engine, the Multiple-Species Gene Recommender (MSGR, which scans gene expression datasets from multiple organisms to identify genes that participate in a genetic pathway. The MSGR takes a query consisting of a list of genes that function together in a genetic pathway from one of six organisms: Homo sapiens, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Helicobacter pylori. Using a probabilistic method to merge searches, the MSGR identifies genes that are significantly coregulated with the query genes in one or more of those organisms. The MSGR achieves its highest accuracy for many human pathways when searches are combined across species. We describe specific examples in which new genes were identified to be involved in a neuromuscular signaling pathway and a cell-adhesion pathway. Conclusion The search engine can scan large collections of gene expression data for new genes that are significantly coregulated with a pathway of interest. By integrating searches across organisms, the MSGR can identify pathway members whose coregulation is either ancient or newly evolved.

  7. Generation of a gene cassette for genetically engineered Salmonella Enteritidis in the specific region of the sipC gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Ghasemi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Salmonellosis is an infection caused by eating contaminated food with Salmonella, and it can occur in humans and other animals. Salmonella has acquired the ability to create the infection due to the presence of several virulence genes. One of the virulence genes of salmonella is sipC gene that coding the SipC protein. The aim of this study was creating the gene cassette to genetically engineered Salmonella enteritidis in the specific region of the sipC gene. Methods: In this study, after DNA extraction from Salmonella, the upstream and downstream regions of the sipC gene was amplified based on PCR method. The PCR products were cloned with T/A cloning method and they were inserted into the pGEM vector. In order to generate the final gene cassette, each of the upstream and downstream regions of the sipC gene was subcloned into the pET32 vector, and cloning accuracy was assessed by PCR and enzyme digestion methods. Results: Amplification of the 320 bp upstream and 206 bp downstream of sipC gene was successful by PCR method. T/A cloning of these fragments were caused the formation of two pGEM-up and pGEM-down recombinant vectors. Results that were confirmed the sub-cloning accuracy indicate the formation of the final pET32-up-down gene cassette. Conclusion: The generated gene cassette in this study was considered as a multi-purpose cassette that is able to specific gene manipulation of Salmonella sipC gene by homologous recombination matched. This gene cassette has the necessary potential for sipC gene deletion or insertion of any useful gene instead of sipC gene.

  8. Mammalian Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Martella, Andrea; Pollard, Steven M; Dai, Junbiao; Cai, Yizhi

    2016-01-01

    The enabling technologies of synthetic biology are opening up new opportunities for engineering and enhancement of mammalian cells. This will stimulate diverse applications in many life science sectors such as regenerative medicine, development of biosensing cell lines, therapeutic protein production, and generation of new synthetic genetic regulatory circuits. Harnessing the full potential of these new engineering-based approaches requires the design and assembly of large DNA constructs-pote...

  9. Positional RNA-Seq identifies candidate genes for phenotypic engineering of sexual traits

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Arbore, Roberto; Sekii, Kiyono; Beisel, Christian; Ladurner, Peter; Berezikov, Eugene; Schaerer, Lukas

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: RNA interference (RNAi) of trait-specific genes permits the manipulation of specific phenotypic traits ("phenotypic engineering") and thus represents a powerful tool to test trait function in evolutionary studies. The identification of suitable candidate genes, however, often relies on

  10. Chromosome engineering for alien gene introgression in wheat: Progress and prospective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chromosome engineering is a useful strategy for introgression of desirable genes from wild relatives into cultivated wheat. However, it has been a challenge to transfer a small amount of alien chromatin containing the gene of interest from one genome to another non-homologous genome through classic...

  11. Gene therapy in dentistry: tool of genetic engineering. Revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Khushboo; Singh, Saurabh; Garg, Kavita Nitish

    2015-03-01

    Advances in biotechnology have brought gene therapy to the forefront of medical research. The concept of transferring genes to tissues for clinical applications has been discussed nearly half a century, but the ability to manipulate genetic material via recombinant DNA technology has brought this goal to reality. The feasibility of gene transfer was first demonstrated using tumour viruses. This led to development of viral and nonviral methods for the genetic modification of somatic cells. Applications of gene therapy to dental and oral problems illustrate the potential impact of this technology on dentistry. Preclinical trial results regarding the same have been very promising. In this review we will discuss methods, vectors involved, clinical implication in dentistry and scientific issues associated with gene therapy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Synthetic biology era: Improving antibiotic's world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Trampe, Silvia; Ceapa, Corina D; Manzo-Ruiz, Monserrat; Sánchez, Sergio

    2017-06-15

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogen microorganisms is problematic in the context of the current spectrum of available medication. The poor specificity and the high toxicity of some available molecules have made imperative the search for new strategies to improve the specificity and to pursue the discovery of novel compounds with increased bioactivity. Using living cells as platforms, synthetic biology has counteracted this problem by offering novel pathways to create synthetic systems with improved and desired functions. Among many other biotechnological approaches, the advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to design and construct novel biological systems in order to look for new drugs with increased bioactivity. Advancements have also been made in the redesigning of RNA and DNA molecules in order to engineer antibiotic clusters for antibiotic overexpression. As for the production of these antibacterial compounds, yeasts and filamentous fungi as well as gene therapy are utilized to enhance protein solubility. Specific delivery is achieved by creating chimeras using plant genes into bacterial hosts. Some of these synthetic systems are currently in clinical trials, proving the proficiency of synthetic biology in terms of both pharmacological activities as well as an increase in the biosafety of treatments. It is possible that we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg, and synthetic biology applications will overpass expectations beyond our present knowledge. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. Molecular Imaging in Synthetic Biology, and Synthetic Biology in Molecular Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilad, Assaf A; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2017-06-01

    Biomedical synthetic biology is an emerging field in which cells are engineered at the genetic level to carry out novel functions with relevance to biomedical and industrial applications. This approach promises new treatments, imaging tools, and diagnostics for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal inflammatory syndromes to cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. As these cellular technologies undergo pre-clinical and clinical development, it is becoming essential to monitor their location and function in vivo, necessitating appropriate molecular imaging strategies, and therefore, we have created an interest group within the World Molecular Imaging Society focusing on synthetic biology and reporter gene technologies. Here, we highlight recent advances in biomedical synthetic biology, including bacterial therapy, immunotherapy, and regenerative medicine. We then discuss emerging molecular imaging approaches to facilitate in vivo applications, focusing on reporter genes for noninvasive modalities such as magnetic resonance, ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging, bioluminescence, and radionuclear imaging. Because reporter genes can be incorporated directly into engineered genetic circuits, they are particularly well suited to imaging synthetic biological constructs, and developing them provides opportunities for creative molecular and genetic engineering.

  14. Effect of polyamines and synthetic polyamine-analogues on the expression of antizyme (AtoC and its regulatory genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garnelis Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In bacteria, the biosynthesis of polyamines is modulated at the level of transcription as well as post-translationally. Antizyme (Az has long been identified as a non-competitive protein inhibitor of polyamine biosynthesis in E. coli. Az was also revealed to be the product of the atoC gene. AtoC is the response regulator of the AtoS-AtoC two-component system and it functions as the positive transcriptional regulator of the atoDAEB operon genes, encoding enzymes involved in short chain fatty acid metabolism. The antizyme is referred to as AtoC/Az, to indicate its dual function as both a transcriptional and post-translational regulator. Results The roles of polyamines on the transcription of atoS and atoC genes as well as that of atoDAEB(ato operon were studied. Polyamine-mediated induction was tested both in atoSC positive and negative E. coli backgrounds by using β-galactosidase reporter constructs carrying the appropriate promoters patoDAEB, patoS, patoC. In addition, a selection of synthetic polyamine analogues have been synthesized and tested for their effectiveness in inducing the expression of atoC/Az, the product of which plays a pivotal role in the feedback inhibition of putrescine biosynthesis and the transcriptional regulation of the ato operon. The effects of these compounds were also determined on the ato operon expression. The polyamine analogues were also tested for their effect on the activity of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, the key enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis and on the growth of polyamine-deficient E. coli. Conclusion Polyamines, which have been reported to induce the protein levels of AtoC/Az in E. coli, act at the transcriptional level, since they cause activation of the atoC transcription. In addition, a series of polyamine analogues were studied on the transcription of atoC gene and ODC activity.

  15. Topical application of the synthetic triterpenoid RTA 408 activates Nrf2 and induces cytoprotective genes in rat skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisman, Scott A; Lee, Chun-Yue I; Meyer, Colin J; Proksch, Joel W; Ward, Keith W

    2014-07-01

    RTA 408 is a member of the synthetic oleanane triterpenoid class of compounds known to potently activate the cytoprotective transcription factor Nrf2. Because skin is constantly exposed to external oxidative stress, such as that from ultraviolet radiation, from chemical exposure, during improper wound healing, and throughout the course of cancer radiation therapy, it may benefit from activation of Nrf2. This study was conducted to evaluate the transdermal penetration properties and Nrf2 activation potential of RTA 408 in normal rat skin. RTA 408 (0.1, 1.0, or 3.0%) was applied topically to the shaved skin of male Sprague-Dawley rats twice daily for 4 days and once on Day 5. Topical application of RTA 408 resulted in transdermal penetration, with low but dose-dependent plasma exposure with AUC(0-24 h) values of 3.6, 26.0, and 41.1 h ng/mL for the 0.1, 1.0, and 3.0% doses, respectively. Further, topical application of RTA 408 resulted in increased translocation of Nrf2 to the nucleus, dose-dependent mRNA induction of Nrf2 target genes (e.g. Nqo1, Srxn1, Gclc, and Gclm), and induction of the protein expression of the prototypical Nrf2 target gene Nqo1 and increased total glutathione (GSH) in normal rat skin. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that increased staining for Nqo1 and total GSH of structures in both the epidermis and dermis was consistent with the full transdermal penetration of RTA 408. Finally, topically administered RTA 408 was well tolerated with no adverse in-life observations and normal skin histology. Thus, the data support the further development of RTA 408 for the potential treatment of skin diseases.

  16. Genetic correction using engineered nucleases for gene therapy applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongmei Lisa; Nakano, Takao; Hotta, Akitsu

    2014-01-01

    Genetic mutations in humans are associated with congenital disorders and phenotypic traits. Gene therapy holds the promise to cure such genetic disorders, although it has suffered from several technical limitations for decades. Recent progress in gene editing technology using tailor-made nucleases, such as meganucleases (MNs), zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), TAL effector nucleases (TALENs) and, more recently, CRISPR/Cas9, has significantly broadened our ability to precisely modify target sites in the human genome. In this review, we summarize recent progress in gene correction approaches of the human genome, with a particular emphasis on the clinical applications of gene therapy. © 2013 The Authors Development, Growth & Differentiation © 2013 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.

  17. Understanding Biological Regulation Through Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashor, Caleb J; Collins, James J

    2018-03-16

    Engineering synthetic gene regulatory circuits proceeds through iterative cycles of design, building, and testing. Initial circuit designs must rely on often-incomplete models of regulation established by fields of reductive inquiry-biochemistry and molecular and systems biology. As differences in designed and experimentally observed circuit behavior are inevitably encountered, investigated, and resolved, each turn of the engineering cycle can force a resynthesis in understanding of natural network function. Here, we outline research that uses the process of gene circuit engineering to advance biological discovery. Synthetic gene circuit engineering research has not only refined our understanding of cellular regulation but furnished biologists with a toolkit that can be directed at natural systems to exact precision manipulation of network structure. As we discuss, using circuit engineering to predictively reorganize, rewire, and reconstruct cellular regulation serves as the ultimate means of testing and understanding how cellular phenotype emerges from systems-level network function. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 47 is May 20, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  18. [STUDY OF HUMORAL IMMUNE RESPONSE FEATURES BASED ON MODELLING OF ANTIGEN DETERMINANTS OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS BY SYNTHETIC PEPTIDES AND GENETICALLY ENGINEERED POLYPEPTIDES].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruglov, I V

    2015-01-01

    Study of humoral immune response features in patients with acute hepatitis C (AHC) with various disease outcomes based on modelling of antigen determinants of hepatitis C virus (HCV) by synthetic peptides and genetically engineered polypeptides. 20 patients with icteric form of AHC based on clinical-biochemical presentation and HCV RNA detection by PCR in blood sera during 12 months from the disease onset were included into the study. Antibody seroconversion study was carried out by EIA. Genetically engineered proteins and synthetic peptides were used as antigens. Similarity and differences of humoral immune response against the HCV antigens used in this study depending on the disease outcome (convalescence or chronicity) were shown. Significant difference of the humoral immune response to both HCV core protein and various fragments of the immune dominant region of this protein were detected, that indicates on a link of these features of immune response with perspectives of a more or less favorable disease development. The regularities of seroconversion detected allow to consider anti-NS5 IgG as a prognostic marker of the disease chronicity. Such marker, as anti-NS3 IgG, is important for diagnostics, but not for disease outcome prognosis.

  19. Genetic engineering in insects: Cloning and transformation of genes conferring resistance to insecticides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mouches, C.

    1988-01-01

    Genetic engineering and transformation offer the possibility of modifying the genetic material of insects. These techniques will make it possible, for example, to transfer genes conferring resistance to insecticides into the genome of beneficial species, or to develop new methods of combating insect pests and disease carrying insects. We cloned two genes which contain the code for proteins that detoxify insecticides. The first, esterase B1 from Culex quinquefasciatus, is amplified approximately 250 times in Californian mosquitoes resistant to organic phosphate insecticides. A second esterase gene was cloned from bacteria which break down various organic phosphates. Experiments are in progress to transfer these genes to Drosophila and beneficial insects. These same genes could also serve as selection markers for the purpose of developing transformation techniques for different insects whose genome one wishes to modify using genetic engineering techniques. (author). 5 refs

  20. Synthetic biology approaches: Towards sustainable exploitation of marine bioactive molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seghal Kiran, G; Ramasamy, Pasiyappazham; Sekar, Sivasankari; Ramu, Meenatchi; Hassan, Saqib; Ninawe, A S; Selvin, Joseph

    2018-06-01

    The discovery of genes responsible for the production of bioactive metabolites via metabolic pathways combined with the advances in synthetic biology tools, has allowed the establishment of numerous microbial cell factories, for instance the yeast cell factories, for the manufacture of highly useful metabolites from renewable biomass. Genome mining and metagenomics are two platforms provide base-line data for reconstruction of genomes and metabolomes which is based in the development of synthetic/semi-synthetic genomes for marine natural products discovery. Engineered biofilms are being innovated on synthetic biology platform using genetic circuits and cell signalling systems as represillators controlling biofilm formation. Recombineering is a process of homologous recombination mediated genetic engineering, includes insertion, deletion or modification of any sequence specifically. Although this discipline considered new to the scientific domain, this field has now developed as promising endeavor on the accomplishment of sustainable exploitation of marine natural products. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. A systematic design method for robust synthetic biology to satisfy design specifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chih-Hung

    2009-06-30

    Synthetic biology is foreseen to have important applications in biotechnology and medicine, and is expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of the functioning of complex biological systems. However, the development of synthetic gene networks is still difficult and most newly created gene networks are non-functioning due to intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations of intra- and extra-cellular environments. The design method for a robust synthetic gene network that works properly in a host cell under these intrinsic parameter uncertainties and external disturbances is the most important topic in synthetic biology. In this study, we propose a stochastic model that includes parameter fluctuations and external disturbances to mimic the dynamic behaviors of a synthetic gene network in the host cell. Then, based on this stochastic model, four design specifications are introduced to guarantee that a synthetic gene network can achieve its desired steady state behavior in spite of parameter fluctuations, external disturbances and functional variations in the host cell. We propose a systematic method to select a set of appropriate design parameters for a synthetic gene network that will satisfy these design specifications so that the intrinsic parameter fluctuations can be tolerated, the external disturbances can be efficiently filtered, and most importantly, the desired steady states can be achieved. Thus the synthetic gene network can work properly in a host cell under intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations. Finally, a design procedure for the robust synthetic gene network is developed and a design example is given in silico to confirm the performance of the proposed method. Based on four design specifications, a systematic design procedure is developed for designers to engineer a robust synthetic biology network that can achieve its desired steady state behavior

  2. A systematic design method for robust synthetic biology to satisfy design specifications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Chih-Hung

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synthetic biology is foreseen to have important applications in biotechnology and medicine, and is expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of the functioning of complex biological systems. However, the development of synthetic gene networks is still difficult and most newly created gene networks are non-functioning due to intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations of intra- and extra-cellular environments. The design method for a robust synthetic gene network that works properly in a host cell under these intrinsic parameter uncertainties and external disturbances is the most important topic in synthetic biology. Results In this study, we propose a stochastic model that includes parameter fluctuations and external disturbances to mimic the dynamic behaviors of a synthetic gene network in the host cell. Then, based on this stochastic model, four design specifications are introduced to guarantee that a synthetic gene network can achieve its desired steady state behavior in spite of parameter fluctuations, external disturbances and functional variations in the host cell. We propose a systematic method to select a set of appropriate design parameters for a synthetic gene network that will satisfy these design specifications so that the intrinsic parameter fluctuations can be tolerated, the external disturbances can be efficiently filtered, and most importantly, the desired steady states can be achieved. Thus the synthetic gene network can work properly in a host cell under intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations. Finally, a design procedure for the robust synthetic gene network is developed and a design example is given in silico to confirm the performance of the proposed method. Conclusion Based on four design specifications, a systematic design procedure is developed for designers to engineer a robust synthetic biology

  3. Comparison of multiple gene assembly methods for metabolic engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenfeng Lu; Karen Mansoorabadi; Thomas Jeffries

    2007-01-01

    A universal, rapid DNA assembly method for efficient multigene plasmid construction is important for biological research and for optimizing gene expression in industrial microbes. Three different approaches to achieve this goal were evaluated. These included creating long complementary extensions using a uracil-DNA glycosylase technique, overlap extension polymerase...

  4. Perspectives on synthetic promoters for biocatalysis and biotransformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruth, Claudia; Glieder, Anton

    2010-04-12

    Acting on the transcriptional level, synthetic promoters have been useful tools for controlling gene expression and have applications in many fields. Here, we discuss synthetic promoters and libraries in regard to current and future applications in the field of biocatalysis or biotransformation. We also focus on synthetic promoter design principles and distinguish between prokaryotic and eukaryotic destinations. The natural toolboxes available for tuneable gene expression and the regulation of enzyme function are limited and primarily host specific. Synthetic biology offers generally applicable concepts and quick implementation. Smart alternatives to transcriptional regulation enrich the engineer's tool box for optimizing industrial enzyme production and host-cell physiology for whole-cell processes. Industrially applicable, tuneable enzyme cascades and artificial circuits for iterative up- and down-regulation will soon be achieved.

  5. Synthetic Brainbows

    KAUST Repository

    Wan, Y.

    2013-06-01

    Brainbow is a genetic engineering technique that randomly colorizes cells. Biological samples processed with this technique and imaged with confocal microscopy have distinctive colors for individual cells. Complex cellular structures can then be easily visualized. However, the complexity of the Brainbow technique limits its applications. In practice, most confocal microscopy scans use different florescence staining with typically at most three distinct cellular structures. These structures are often packed and obscure each other in rendered images making analysis difficult. In this paper, we leverage a process known as GPU framebuffer feedback loops to synthesize Brainbow-like images. In addition, we incorporate ID shuffing and Monte-Carlo sampling into our technique, so that it can be applied to single-channel confocal microscopy data. The synthesized Brainbow images are presented to domain experts with positive feedback. A user survey demonstrates that our synthetic Brainbow technique improves visualizations of volume data with complex structures for biologists.

  6. Oral Administration of Lactococcus lactis Expressing Synthetic Genes of Myelin Antigens in Decreasing Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasarello, Kaja; Kwiatkowska-Patzer, Barbara; Lipkowski, Andrzej W; Bardowski, Jacek K; Szczepankowska, Agnieszka K

    2015-05-31

    Multiple sclerosis is a human autoimmunological disease that causes neurodegeneration. One of the potential ways to stop its development is induction of oral tolerance, whose effect lies in decreasing immune response to the fed antigen. It was shown in animal models that administration of specific epitopes of the three main myelin proteins - myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG), myelin basic protein (MBP), and proteolipid protein (PLP) - results in induction of oral tolerance and suppression of disease symptoms. Use of bacterial cells to produce and deliver antigens to gut mucosa seems to be an attractive method for oral tolerance induction in treatment of diseases with autoimmune background. Synthetic genes of MOG35-55, MBP85-97, and PLP139-151 myelin epitopes were generated and cloned in Lactococcus lactis under a CcpA-regulated promoter. The tolerogenic effect of bacterial preparations was tested on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which is the animal model of MS. EAE was induced in rats by intradermal injection of guinea pig spinal cord homogenate into hind paws. Rats were administered preparations containing whole-cell lysates of L. lactis producing myelin antigens using different feeding schemes. Our study demonstrates that 20-fold, but not 4-fold, intragastric administration of autoantigen-expressing L. lactis cells under specific conditions reduces the clinical symptoms of EAE in rats. The present study evaluated the use of myelin antigens produced in L. lactis in inhibiting the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rats. Obtained results indicate that application of such recombinant cells can be an attractive method of oral tolerance induction.

  7. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Time for Big MACs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martella, Andrea; Pollard, Steven M; Dai, Junbiao; Cai, Yizhi

    2016-10-21

    The enabling technologies of synthetic biology are opening up new opportunities for engineering and enhancement of mammalian cells. This will stimulate diverse applications in many life science sectors such as regenerative medicine, development of biosensing cell lines, therapeutic protein production, and generation of new synthetic genetic regulatory circuits. Harnessing the full potential of these new engineering-based approaches requires the design and assembly of large DNA constructs-potentially up to chromosome scale-and the effective delivery of these large DNA payloads to the host cell. Random integration of large transgenes, encoding therapeutic proteins or genetic circuits into host chromosomes, has several drawbacks such as risks of insertional mutagenesis, lack of control over transgene copy-number and position-specific effects; these can compromise the intended functioning of genetic circuits. The development of a system orthogonal to the endogenous genome is therefore beneficial. Mammalian artificial chromosomes (MACs) are functional, add-on chromosomal elements, which behave as normal chromosomes-being replicating and portioned to daughter cells at each cell division. They are deployed as useful gene expression vectors as they remain independent from the host genome. MACs are maintained as a single-copy and can accommodate multiple gene expression cassettes of, in theory, unlimited DNA size (MACs up to 10 megabases have been constructed). MACs therefore enabled control over ectopic gene expression and represent an excellent platform to rapidly prototype and characterize novel synthetic gene circuits without recourse to engineering the host genome. This review describes the obstacles synthetic biologists face when working with mammalian systems and how the development of improved MACs can overcome these-particularly given the spectacular advances in DNA synthesis and assembly that are fuelling this research area.

  8. EasyCloneYALI: CRISPR/Cas9-based synthetic toolbox for engineering of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holkenbrink, Carina; Dam, Marie Inger; Kildegaard, Kanchana Rueksomtawin

    2018-01-01

    . Here, we present the EasyCloneYALI genetic toolbox, which allows streamlined strain construction with high genome editing efficiencies in Y. lipolytica via the CRISPR/Cas9 technology. The toolbox allows marker-free integration of gene expression vectors into characterized genome sites as well as marker......-free deletion of genes with the help of CRISPR/Cas9. Genome editing efficiencies above 80% were achieved with transformation protocols using non-replicating DNA repair fragments (such as DNA oligos). Furthermore, the toolbox includes a set of integrative gene expression vectors with prototrophic markers...

  9. Programming Morphogenesis through Systems and Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez, Jeremy J; Su, Emily; Cahan, Patrick; Ebrahimkhani, Mo R

    2018-04-01

    Mammalian tissue development is an intricate, spatiotemporal process of self-organization that emerges from gene regulatory networks of differentiating stem cells. A major goal in stem cell biology is to gain a sufficient understanding of gene regulatory networks and cell-cell interactions to enable the reliable and robust engineering of morphogenesis. Here, we review advances in synthetic biology, single cell genomics, and multiscale modeling, which, when synthesized, provide a framework to achieve the ambitious goal of programming morphogenesis in complex tissues and organoids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Tools and applications in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, I Cody; Deans, Tara L

    2016-10-01

    Advances in synthetic biology have enabled the engineering of cells with genetic circuits in order to program cells with new biological behavior, dynamic gene expression, and logic control. This cellular engineering progression offers an array of living sensors that can discriminate between cell states, produce a regulated dose of therapeutic biomolecules, and function in various delivery platforms. In this review, we highlight and summarize the tools and applications in bacterial and mammalian synthetic biology. The examples detailed in this review provide insight to further understand genetic circuits, how they are used to program cells with novel functions, and current methods to reliably interface this technology in vivo; thus paving the way for the design of promising novel therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Synthetic biology: Novel approaches for microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla-Vaca, Felipe; Anaya-Velázquez, Fernando; Franco, Bernardo

    2015-06-01

    In the past twenty years, molecular genetics has created powerful tools for genetic manipulation of living organisms. Whole genome sequencing has provided necessary information to assess knowledge on gene function and protein networks. In addition, new tools permit to modify organisms to perform desired tasks. Gene function analysis is speed up by novel approaches that couple both high throughput data generation and mining. Synthetic biology is an emerging field that uses tools for generating novel gene networks, whole genome synthesis and engineering. New applications in biotechnological, pharmaceutical and biomedical research are envisioned for synthetic biology. In recent years these new strategies have opened up the possibilities to study gene and genome editing, creation of novel tools for functional studies in virus, parasites and pathogenic bacteria. There is also the possibility to re-design organisms to generate vaccine subunits or produce new pharmaceuticals to combat multi-drug resistant pathogens. In this review we provide our opinion on the applicability of synthetic biology strategies for functional studies of pathogenic organisms and some applications such as genome editing and gene network studies to further comprehend virulence factors and determinants in pathogenic organisms. We also discuss what we consider important ethical issues for this field of molecular biology, especially for potential misuse of the new technologies. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  12. Efficient gamma-aminobutyric acid bioconversion by employing synthetic complex between glutamate decarboxylase and glutamate/GABA antiporter in engineered Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Vo, Tam Dinh; Ko, Ji-seun; Park, Si Jae; Lee, Seung Hwan; Hong, Soon Ho

    2013-08-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a precursor of one of the most promising heat-resistant biopolymers, Nylon-4, and can be produced by the decarboxylation of monosodium glutamate (MSG). In this study, a synthetic protein complex was applied to improve the GABA conversion in engineered Escherichia coli. Complexes were constructed by assembling a single protein-protein interaction domain SH3 to the glutamate decarboxylase (GadA and GadB) and attaching a cognate peptide ligand to the glutamate/GABA antiporter (GadC) at the N-terminus, C-terminus, and the 233rd amino acid residue. When GadA and GadC were co-overexpressed via the C-terminus complex, a GABA concentration of 5.65 g/l was obtained from 10 g/l MSG, which corresponds to a GABA yield of 93 %. A significant increase of the GABA productivity was also observed where the GABA productivity increased 2.5-fold in the early culture period due to the introduction of the synthetic protein complex. The GABA pathway efficiency and GABA productivity were enhanced by the introduction of the complex between Gad and glutamate/GABA antiporter.

  13. Effect of synthetic auxin herbicides on seed development and viability in genetically-engineered glyphosate-resistant alfalfa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feral populations of cultivated crops have the potential to function as bridges and reservoirs that contribute to the unwanted movement of novel genetically engineered (GE) traits. Recognizing that feral alfalfa has the potential to lower genetic purity in alfalfa seed production fields when it is g...

  14. Selective methanol or formate production during continuous CO₂ fermentation by the acetogen biocatalysts engineered via integration of synthetic pathways using Tn7-tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyurin, Michael; Kiriukhin, Michael

    2013-09-01

    Methanol-resistant mutant acetogen Clostridium sp. MT1424 originally producing only 365 mM acetate from CO₂/CO was engineered to eliminate acetate production and spore formation using Cre-lox66/lox71-system to power subsequent methanol production via expressing synthetic methanol dehydrogenase, formaldehyde dehydrogenase and formate dehydrogenase, three copies of each, assembled in cluster and integrated to chromosome using Tn7-based approach. Production of 2.2 M methanol was steady (p < 0.005) in single step fermentations of 20 % CO₂ + 80 % H₂ blend (v/v) 25 day runs each in five independent repeats. If the integrated cluster comprised only three copies of formate dehydrogenase the respective recombinants produced 95 mM formate (p < 0.005) under the same conditions. For commercialization, the suggested source of inorganic carbon would be CO₂ waste of IGCC power plant. Hydrogen may be produced in situ via powered by solar panels electrolysis.

  15. Seeing engineered loops in a gene delivery vehicle by cryoEM

    OpenAIRE

    Zhou, Z. Hong

    2012-01-01

    In this issue of Structure, Lerch and colleagues present a 4.5 Å cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) structure of a variant of an adeno-associated virus that has been genetically engineered for liver gene therapy. The identification of two structurally distinct loops flanking the highly conserved jellyroll β barrel highlights the potentials of high-resolution cryoEM.

  16. Engineering a synthetic anaerobic respiration for reduction of xylose to xylitol using NADH output of glucose catabolism by Escherichia coli AI21.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Andrew; Garza, Erin; Manow, Ryan; Wang, Jinhua; Gao, Yuanyuan; Grayburn, Scott; Zhou, Shengde

    2016-04-16

    Anaerobic rather than aerobic fermentation is preferred for conversion of biomass derived sugars to high value redox-neutral and reduced commodities. This will likely result in a higher yield of substrate to product conversion and decrease production cost since substrate often accounts for a significant portion of the overall cost. To this goal, metabolic pathway engineering has been used to optimize substrate carbon flow to target products. This approach works well for the production of redox neutral products such as lactic acid from redox neutral sugars using the reducing power NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, reduced) generated from glycolysis (2 NADH per glucose equivalent). Nevertheless, greater than two NADH per glucose catabolized is needed for the production of reduced products (such as xylitol) from redox neutral sugars by anaerobic fermentation. The Escherichia coli strain AI05 (ΔfrdBC ΔldhA ΔackA Δ(focA-pflB) ΔadhE ΔptsG ΔpdhR::pflBp 6-(aceEF-lpd)), previously engineered for reduction of xylose to xylitol using reducing power (NADH equivalent) of glucose catabolism, was further engineered by 1) deleting xylAB operon (encoding for xylose isomerase and xylulokinase) to prevent xylose from entering the pentose phosphate pathway; 2) anaerobically expressing the sdhCDAB-sucABCD operon (encoding for succinate dehydrogenase, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and succinyl-CoA synthetase) to enable an anaerobically functional tricarboxcylic acid cycle with a theoretical 10 NAD(P)H equivalent per glucose catabolized. These reducing equivalents can be oxidized by synthetic respiration via xylose reduction, producing xylitol. The resulting strain, AI21 (pAI02), achieved a 96 % xylose to xylitol conversion, with a yield of 6 xylitol per glucose catabolized (molar yield of xylitol per glucose consumed (YRPG) = 6). This represents a 33 % improvement in xylose to xylitol conversion, and a 63 % increase in xylitol yield per glucose catabolized over

  17. GeneRank: Using search engine technology for the analysis of microarray experiments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breitling Rainer

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interpretation of simple microarray experiments is usually based on the fold-change of gene expression between a reference and a "treated" sample where the treatment can be of many types from drug exposure to genetic variation. Interpretation of the results usually combines lists of differentially expressed genes with previous knowledge about their biological function. Here we evaluate a method – based on the PageRank algorithm employed by the popular search engine Google – that tries to automate some of this procedure to generate prioritized gene lists by exploiting biological background information. Results GeneRank is an intuitive modification of PageRank that maintains many of its mathematical properties. It combines gene expression information with a network structure derived from gene annotations (gene ontologies or expression profile correlations. Using both simulated and real data we find that the algorithm offers an improved ranking of genes compared to pure expression change rankings. Conclusion Our modification of the PageRank algorithm provides an alternative method of evaluating microarray experimental results which combines prior knowledge about the underlying network. GeneRank offers an improvement compared to assessing the importance of a gene based on its experimentally observed fold-change alone and may be used as a basis for further analytical developments.

  18. GeneRank: using search engine technology for the analysis of microarray experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Julie L; Breitling, Rainer; Higham, Desmond J; Gilbert, David R

    2005-09-21

    Interpretation of simple microarray experiments is usually based on the fold-change of gene expression between a reference and a "treated" sample where the treatment can be of many types from drug exposure to genetic variation. Interpretation of the results usually combines lists of differentially expressed genes with previous knowledge about their biological function. Here we evaluate a method--based on the PageRank algorithm employed by the popular search engine Google--that tries to automate some of this procedure to generate prioritized gene lists by exploiting biological background information. GeneRank is an intuitive modification of PageRank that maintains many of its mathematical properties. It combines gene expression information with a network structure derived from gene annotations (gene ontologies) or expression profile correlations. Using both simulated and real data we find that the algorithm offers an improved ranking of genes compared to pure expression change rankings. Our modification of the PageRank algorithm provides an alternative method of evaluating microarray experimental results which combines prior knowledge about the underlying network. GeneRank offers an improvement compared to assessing the importance of a gene based on its experimentally observed fold-change alone and may be used as a basis for further analytical developments.

  19. Heterologous expression of dammarenediol synthase gene in an engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Y-L; Zhao, S-J; Xu, L-X; Zhang, X-Y

    2012-11-01

    Dammarenediol production by an engineered yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was investigated. A dammarenediol-producing engineered yeast was constructed by heterologous expression of the dammarenediol synthase gene from Panax ginseng hairy roots through RT-PCR. Fermentation was carried out in a 5-L GRJY-bioreactor with an inoculum size of 1% v/v at 30°C. Dammarenediol detection was performed with silica gel chromatography and HPLC. Determination of dammarenediol synthase activity subcellular distribution was carried out by surveying the enzyme activity in microsomes, lipid particles and total yeast homogenate. When cultured under aerobic conditions, the engineered yeast could produce dammarenediol up to 250μgl(-1). However, when an anaerobic shift strategy was employed, dammarenediol accumulated at a level as twice as that under aerobic condition. The dammarenediol synthase and dammarenediol were mainly localized in lipid particles. Dammarenediol could be heterologously produced in engineered yeast. The heterologously expressed dammarenediol synthase is mainly localized in lipid particles. Anaerobic shift strategy could enhance the dammarenediol level in the engineered yeast. This study showed that the high-value plant product dammarenediol could be produced by heterologous expression of the according gene in yeast. Furthermore, the anaerobic shift strategy could be potentially applied in oxidosqualene-derived compounds production in yeast. Here, the information about subcellular distribution of heterologously expressed dammarenediol synthase in the engineered yeast was also provided. © 2012 The Authors. Letters in Applied Microbiology © 2012 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  20. Towards a synthetic chloroplast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina M Agapakis

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of eukaryotic cells is widely agreed to have proceeded through a series of endosymbiotic events between larger cells and proteobacteria or cyanobacteria, leading to the formation of mitochondria or chloroplasts, respectively. Engineered endosymbiotic relationships between different species of cells are a valuable tool for synthetic biology, where engineered pathways based on two species could take advantage of the unique abilities of each mutualistic partner.We explored the possibility of using the photosynthetic bacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 as a platform for studying evolutionary dynamics and for designing two-species synthetic biological systems. We observed that the cyanobacteria were relatively harmless to eukaryotic host cells compared to Escherichia coli when injected into the embryos of zebrafish, Danio rerio, or taken up by mammalian macrophages. In addition, when engineered with invasin from Yersinia pestis and listeriolysin O from Listeria monocytogenes, S. elongatus was able to invade cultured mammalian cells and divide inside macrophages.Our results show that it is possible to engineer photosynthetic bacteria to invade the cytoplasm of mammalian cells for further engineering and applications in synthetic biology. Engineered invasive but non-pathogenic or immunogenic photosynthetic bacteria have great potential as synthetic biological devices.

  1. Reverse Engineering Sparse Gene Regulatory Networks Using Cubature Kalman Filter and Compressed Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amina Noor

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a novel algorithm for inferring gene regulatory networks which makes use of cubature Kalman filter (CKF and Kalman filter (KF techniques in conjunction with compressed sensing methods. The gene network is described using a state-space model. A nonlinear model for the evolution of gene expression is considered, while the gene expression data is assumed to follow a linear Gaussian model. The hidden states are estimated using CKF. The system parameters are modeled as a Gauss-Markov process and are estimated using compressed sensing-based KF. These parameters provide insight into the regulatory relations among the genes. The Cramér-Rao lower bound of the parameter estimates is calculated for the system model and used as a benchmark to assess the estimation accuracy. The proposed algorithm is evaluated rigorously using synthetic data in different scenarios which include different number of genes and varying number of sample points. In addition, the algorithm is tested on the DREAM4 in silico data sets as well as the in vivo data sets from IRMA network. The proposed algorithm shows superior performance in terms of accuracy, robustness, and scalability.

  2. Meeting Report: Synthetic Biology Jamboree for Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A. Malcolm

    2005-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology (the name is derived from an analogy to synthetic chemistry) has recognized itself as a "field" only since about 2002. Synthetic biology has gotten some high-profile attention recently, but most people are not aware the field even exists. Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to genomic circuits to…

  3. Modulation of mouse coagulation gene transcription following acute in vivo delivery of synthetic small interfering RNAs targeting HNF4α and C/EBPα.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huma Safdar

    Full Text Available Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα are important for the transcriptional control of coagulation factors. To determine in vivo the direct role of HNF4α and C/EBPα in control of genes encoding coagulation factors, a synthetic small interfering (siRNA approach was used that enabled strong reduction of mouse hepatic HNF4α and C/EBPα under conditions that minimized target-related secondary effects. For both HNF4α and C/EBPα, intravenous injection of specific synthetic siRNAs (siHNF4α and siC/EBPα resulted in more than 75% reduction in their liver transcript and protein levels 2 days post-injection. For siHNF4α, this coincided with marked and significantly reduced transcript levels of the coagulation genes Hrg, Proz, Serpina5, F11, F12, F13b, Serpinf2, F5, and F9 (in order of magnitude of effect as compared to levels in control siRNA injected animals. Significant decreases in HNF4α target gene mRNA levels were also observed at 5 days post-siRNA injection, despite a limited level of HNF4α knockdown at this time point. Compared to HNF4α, C/EBPα knockdown had a modest impact on genes encoding coagulation factors. A strong reduction in C/EBPα transcript and protein levels resulted in significantly affected transcript levels of the control genes Pck1 and Fasn and a modest downregulation for coagulation genes Fba, Fbg and F5. F5 and F11 were the sole coagulation genes that were significantly affected upon prolonged (5 day C/EBPα knockdown. We conclude that in the mouse, HNF4α has a direct and essential regulatory role for multiple hepatic coagulation genes, while a role for C/EBPα is more restricted. In addition, this study demonstrates that synthetic siRNA provides a simple and fast means for determining liver transcription factor involvement in vivo.

  4. Activation of Fetal γ-globin Gene Expression via Direct Protein Delivery of Synthetic Zinc-finger DNA-Binding Domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mir A Hossain

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Reactivation of γ-globin expression has been shown to ameliorate disease phenotypes associated with mutations in the adult β-globin gene, including sickle cell disease. Specific mutations in the promoter of the γ-globin genes are known to prevent repression of the genes in the adult and thus lead to hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin. One such hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin is associated with a sequence located 567 bp upstream of the Gγ-globin gene which assembles a GATA-containing repressor complex. We generated two synthetic zinc-finger DNA-binding domains (ZF-DBDs targeting this sequence. The -567Gγ ZF-DBDs associated with high affinity and specificity with the target site in the γ-globin gene promoter. We delivered the -567Gγ ZF-DBDs directly to primary erythroid cells. Exposure of these cells to the recombinant -567Gγ ZF-DBDs led to increased expression of the γ-globin gene. Direct protein delivery of ZF-DBDs that compete with transcription regulatory proteins will have broad implications for modulating gene expression in analytical or therapeutic settings.

  5. Synthetic analog and digital circuits for cellular computation and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purcell, Oliver; Lu, Timothy K

    2014-10-01

    Biological computation is a major area of focus in synthetic biology because it has the potential to enable a wide range of applications. Synthetic biologists have applied engineering concepts to biological systems in order to construct progressively more complex gene circuits capable of processing information in living cells. Here, we review the current state of computational genetic circuits and describe artificial gene circuits that perform digital and analog computation. We then discuss recent progress in designing gene networks that exhibit memory, and how memory and computation have been integrated to yield more complex systems that can both process and record information. Finally, we suggest new directions for engineering biological circuits capable of computation. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. [Subcloning of human neurotrophin-3 gene and construction of its genetically engineered cell model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Hong; Guo, Meng-he; Guo, Kun-yuan; Li, Yong-he

    2004-07-01

    To subclone human neurotrophin-3 gene (NT3) and transfer this gene into human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) to construct genetically engineered cells that produce NT3 in vitro. Human BM-MSCs were cultured in low-glucose DMEM supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum and 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor. Flow cytometry (FCM) was used to examine the phenotypes of the cells. The eukaryotic expression vector pcDNA3.1(+)/NT3 was constructed and transferred into human BM-MSCs in vitro via liposomes. The genetically engineered BM-MSCs were selected several times with G418 and the clones were obtained and then amplified, followed by extraction of the RNA for detection of NT3 gene expression by reverse transcriptional (RT) PCR. The biological activity of the genetically engineered cells was examined by the collecting the supernatant of the culture medium for incubation of guinea pig cochlea hair cells. The cultured cells expressed CD13, CD29 and CD59, but no7 CD11, CD14, CD31, CD34, CD45, CD80, CD86, CD117 or HLA-DR. The BM-MSCs genetically modified with pcDNA3.1(+)/NT3 not only expressed and produced NT3, but also promoted the survival of the guinea pig cochlea hair cells in vitro. It is possible to construct the genetically engineered BM-MSCs that excrete NT3 in vitro.

  7. (Im)Perfect robustness and adaptation of metabolic networks subject to metabolic and gene-expression regulation: marrying control engineering with metabolic control analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fei; Fromion, Vincent; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2013-11-21

    Metabolic control analysis (MCA) and supply-demand theory have led to appreciable understanding of the systems properties of metabolic networks that are subject exclusively to metabolic regulation. Supply-demand theory has not yet considered gene-expression regulation explicitly whilst a variant of MCA, i.e. Hierarchical Control Analysis (HCA), has done so. Existing analyses based on control engineering approaches have not been very explicit about whether metabolic or gene-expression regulation would be involved, but designed different ways in which regulation could be organized, with the potential of causing adaptation to be perfect. This study integrates control engineering and classical MCA augmented with supply-demand theory and HCA. Because gene-expression regulation involves time integration, it is identified as a natural instantiation of the 'integral control' (or near integral control) known in control engineering. This study then focuses on robustness against and adaptation to perturbations of process activities in the network, which could result from environmental perturbations, mutations or slow noise. It is shown however that this type of 'integral control' should rarely be expected to lead to the 'perfect adaptation': although the gene-expression regulation increases the robustness of important metabolite concentrations, it rarely makes them infinitely robust. For perfect adaptation to occur, the protein degradation reactions should be zero order in the concentration of the protein, which may be rare biologically for cells growing steadily. A proposed new framework integrating the methodologies of control engineering and metabolic and hierarchical control analysis, improves the understanding of biological systems that are regulated both metabolically and by gene expression. In particular, the new approach enables one to address the issue whether the intracellular biochemical networks that have been and are being identified by genomics and systems

  8. Reverse-engineering of gene networks for regulating early blood development from single-cell measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jiangyong; Hu, Xiaohua; Zou, Xiufen; Tian, Tianhai

    2017-12-28

    Recent advances in omics technologies have raised great opportunities to study large-scale regulatory networks inside the cell. In addition, single-cell experiments have measured the gene and protein activities in a large number of cells under the same experimental conditions. However, a significant challenge in computational biology and bioinformatics is how to derive quantitative information from the single-cell observations and how to develop sophisticated mathematical models to describe the dynamic properties of regulatory networks using the derived quantitative information. This work designs an integrated approach to reverse-engineer gene networks for regulating early blood development based on singel-cell experimental observations. The wanderlust algorithm is initially used to develop the pseudo-trajectory for the activities of a number of genes. Since the gene expression data in the developed pseudo-trajectory show large fluctuations, we then use Gaussian process regression methods to smooth the gene express data in order to obtain pseudo-trajectories with much less fluctuations. The proposed integrated framework consists of both bioinformatics algorithms to reconstruct the regulatory network and mathematical models using differential equations to describe the dynamics of gene expression. The developed approach is applied to study the network regulating early blood cell development. A graphic model is constructed for a regulatory network with forty genes and a dynamic model using differential equations is developed for a network of nine genes. Numerical results suggests that the proposed model is able to match experimental data very well. We also examine the networks with more regulatory relations and numerical results show that more regulations may exist. We test the possibility of auto-regulation but numerical simulations do not support the positive auto-regulation. In addition, robustness is used as an importantly additional criterion to select candidate

  9. Molecular cloning, over expression, and activity studies of a peptidic HIV-1 protease inhibitor: designed synthetic gene to functional recombinant peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vathipadiekal, Vinod; Umasankar, Perunthottathu K; Patole, Milind S; Rao, Mala

    2010-01-01

    The aspartic protease inhibitor (ATBI) purified from a Bacillus sp. is a potent inhibitor of several proteases including recombinant HIV-1 protease, pepsin, and fungal aspartic protease. In this study, we report the cloning, and over expression of a synthetic gene coding for ATBI in Escherichia coli and establish a purification protocol. The ATBI molecule consists of eleven amino acids and is peptidic in nature. We used the peptide sequence data of ATBI to synthesize complementary oligonucleotides, which were annealed and subsequently cloned in-frame with the gene for glutathione-S-transferase (GST). The expression of the resulting fusion protein was induced in E. coli BL21-A1 cells using arabinose. The recombinant peptide was purified using a reduced glutathione column, and cleaved with Factor Xa to remove the GST tag. The resultant product was further purified to homogeneity using RP-HPLC. Mass spectroscopy analysis revealed that the purified peptide had a molecular weight of 1186Da which matches the theoretical molecular weight of the amino acids present in the synthetic gene. The recombinant peptide was found to be active in vitro against HIV-1 protease, pepsin, and fungal aspartic protease. The protocol described in this study may be used to clone pharmaceutically important peptide molecules.

  10. Pgas, a Low-pH-Induced Promoter, as a Tool for Dynamic Control of Gene Expression for Metabolic Engineering of Aspergillus niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Xian; Shin, Hyun-Dong; Li, Jianghua; Du, Guocheng; Liu, Long; Chen, Jian

    2017-03-15

    The dynamic control of gene expression is important for adjusting fluxes in order to obtain desired products and achieve appropriate cell growth, particularly when the synthesis of a desired product drains metabolites required for cell growth. For dynamic gene expression, a promoter responsive to a particular environmental stressor is vital. Here, we report a low-pH-inducible promoter, P gas , which promotes minimal gene expression at pH values above 5.0 but functions efficiently at low pHs, such as pH 2.0. First, we performed a transcriptional analysis of Aspergillus niger , an excellent platform for the production of organic acids, and we found that the promoter P gas may act efficiently at low pH. Then, a gene for synthetic green fluorescent protein ( sGFP ) was successfully expressed by P gas at pH 2.0, verifying the results of the transcriptional analysis. Next, P gas was used to express the cis -aconitate decarboxylase ( cad ) gene of Aspergillus terreus in A. niger , allowing the production of itaconic acid at a titer of 4.92 g/liter. Finally, we found that P gas strength was independent of acid type and acid ion concentration, showing dependence on pH only. IMPORTANCE The promoter P gas can be used for the dynamic control of gene expression in A. niger for metabolic engineering to produce organic acids. This promoter may also be a candidate tool for genetic engineering. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  11. Using Genetically Engineered Animal Models in the Postgenomic Era to Understand Gene Function in Alcoholism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Matthew T.; Harris, R. Adron; Noronha, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Over the last 50 years, researchers have made substantial progress in identifying genetic variations that underlie the complex phenotype of alcoholism. Not much is known, however, about how this genetic variation translates into altered biological function. Genetic animal models recapitulating specific characteristics of the human condition have helped elucidate gene function and the genetic basis of disease. In particular, major advances have come from the ability to manipulate genes through a variety of genetic technologies that provide an unprecedented capacity to determine gene function in the living organism and in alcohol-related behaviors. Even newer genetic-engineering technologies have given researchers the ability to control when and where a specific gene or mutation is activated or deleted, allowing investigators to narrow the role of the gene’s function to circumscribed neural pathways and across development. These technologies are important for all areas of neuroscience, and several public and private initiatives are making a new generation of genetic-engineering tools available to the scientific community at large. Finally, high-throughput “next-generation sequencing” technologies are set to rapidly increase knowledge of the genome, epigenome, and transcriptome, which, combined with genetically engineered mouse mutants, will enhance insight into biological function. All of these resources will provide deeper insight into the genetic basis of alcoholism. PMID:23134044

  12. A minimal model of ribosome allocation dynamics captures trade-offs in expression between endogenous and synthetic genes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gorochowski, Thomas E; Avcilar-Kucukgoze, Irem; Bovenberg, Roel A L; Roubos, Johannes A; Ignatova, Zoya

    2016-01-01

    Cells contain a finite set of resources that must be distributed across many processes to ensure survival. Among them, the largest proportion of cellular resources is dedicated to protein translation. Synthetic biology often exploits these resources to execute orthogonal genetic circuits, yet the

  13. The Function of Herpes Simplex Virus Genes: A Primer for Genetic Engineering of Novel Vectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roizman, Bernard

    1996-10-01

    Herpes simplex virus vectors are being developed for delivery and expression of human genes to the central nervous system, selective destruction of cancer cells, and as carriers for genes encoding antigens that induce protective immunity against infectious agents. Vectors constructed to meet these objectives must differ from wild-type virus with respect to host range, reactivation from latency, and expression of viral genes. The vectors currently being developed are (i) helper free amplicons, (ii) replication defective viruses, and (iii) genetically engineered replication competent viruses with restricted host range. Whereas the former two types of vectors require stable, continuous cell lines expressing viral genes for their replication, the replication competent viruses will replicate on approved primary human cell strains.

  14. Positional RNA-Seq identifies candidate genes for phenotypic engineering of sexual traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbore, Roberto; Sekii, Kiyono; Beisel, Christian; Ladurner, Peter; Berezikov, Eugene; Schärer, Lukas

    2015-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) of trait-specific genes permits the manipulation of specific phenotypic traits ("phenotypic engineering") and thus represents a powerful tool to test trait function in evolutionary studies. The identification of suitable candidate genes, however, often relies on existing functional gene annotation, which is usually limited in emerging model organisms, especially when they are only distantly related to traditional genetic model organisms. A case in point is the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano (Lophotrochozoa: Platyhelminthes: Rhabditophora), an increasingly powerful model organism for evolutionary studies of sex in simultaneous hermaphrodites. To overcome the limitation of sparse functional annotation, we have performed a positional RNA-Seq analysis on different body fragments in order to identify organ-specific candidate transcripts. We then performed gene expression (in situ hybridization) and gene function (RNAi) analyses on 23 candidate transcripts, both to evaluate the predictive potential of this approach and to obtain preliminary functional characterizations of these candidate genes. We identified over 4000 transcripts that could be expected to show specific expression in different reproductive organs (including testis, ovary and the male and female genital systems). The predictive potential of the method could then be verified by confirming organ-specific expression for several candidate transcripts, some of which yielded interesting trait-specific knock-down phenotypes that can now be followed up in future phenotypic engineering studies. Our positional RNA-Seq analysis represents a highly useful resource for the identification of candidate transcripts for functional and phenotypic engineering studies in M. lignano, and it has already been used successfully in several studies. Moreover, this approach can overcome some inherent limitations of homology-based candidate selection and thus should be applicable to a broad range of

  15. Synthetic Biology: Applications in the Food Sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Ashish; Kumar, Ashwani; Aparna, S V; Mallappa, Rashmi H; Grover, Sunita; Batish, Virender Kumar

    2016-08-17

    Synthetic biology also termed as "genomic alchemy" represents a powerful area of science that is based on the convergence of biological sciences with systems engineering. It has been fittingly described as "moving from reading the genetic code to writing it" as it focuses on building, modeling, designing and fabricating novel biological systems using customized gene components that result in artificially created genetic circuitry. The scientifically compelling idea of the technological manipulation of life has been advocated since long time. Realization of this idea has gained momentum with development of high speed automation and the falling cost of gene sequencing and synthesis following the completion of the human genome project. Synthetic biology will certainly be instrumental in shaping the development of varying areas ranging from biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, chemical production, food and dairy quality monitoring, packaging, and storage of food and dairy products, bioremediation and bioenergy production, etc. However, potential dangers of using synthetic life forms have to be acknowledged and adoption of policies by the scientific community to ensure safe practice while making important advancements in the ever expanding field of synthetic biology is to be fully supported and implemented.

  16. GeneView: a comprehensive semantic search engine for PubMed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Philippe; Starlinger, Johannes; Vowinkel, Alexander; Arzt, Sebastian; Leser, Ulf

    2012-07-01

    Research results are primarily published in scientific literature and curation efforts cannot keep up with the rapid growth of published literature. The plethora of knowledge remains hidden in large text repositories like MEDLINE. Consequently, life scientists have to spend a great amount of time searching for specific information. The enormous ambiguity among most names of biomedical objects such as genes, chemicals and diseases often produces too large and unspecific search results. We present GeneView, a semantic search engine for biomedical knowledge. GeneView is built upon a comprehensively annotated version of PubMed abstracts and openly available PubMed Central full texts. This semi-structured representation of biomedical texts enables a number of features extending classical search engines. For instance, users may search for entities using unique database identifiers or they may rank documents by the number of specific mentions they contain. Annotation is performed by a multitude of state-of-the-art text-mining tools for recognizing mentions from 10 entity classes and for identifying protein-protein interactions. GeneView currently contains annotations for >194 million entities from 10 classes for ∼21 million citations with 271,000 full text bodies. GeneView can be searched at http://bc3.informatik.hu-berlin.de/.

  17. MHO1, an evolutionarily conserved gene, is synthetic lethal with PLC1; Mho1p has a role in invasive growth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan D Schlatter

    Full Text Available The novel protein Memo (Mediator of ErbB2 driven cell motility was identified in a screen for ErbB2 interacting proteins and found to have an essential function in cell motility. Memo is evolutionarily conserved with homologs found in all branches of life; the human and yeast proteins have a similarity of >50%. In the present study we used the model organism S. cerevisiae to characterize the Memo-homologue Mho1 (Yjr008wp and to investigate its function in yeast. In a synthetic lethal screen we found MHO1 as a novel synthetic lethal partner of PLC1, which encodes the single phospholipase C in yeast. Double-deleted cells lacking MHO1 and PLC1, proliferate for up to ten generations. Introduction of human Memo into the memoΔplc1Δ strain rescued the synthetic lethal phenotype suggesting that yeast and human proteins have similar functions. Mho1 is present in the cytoplasm and the nucleus of yeast cells; the same distribution of Memo was found in mammalian cells. None of the Memo homologues have a characteristic nuclear localization sequence, however, a conserved nuclear export sequence is found in all. In mammalian cells, blocking nuclear export with Leptomycin B led to nuclear Memo accumulation, suggesting that it is actively exported from the nucleus. In yeast MHO1 expression is induced by stress conditions. Since invasive growth in S. cerevisiea is also stress-induced, we tested Mho1's role in this response. MHO1 deletion had no effect on invasion induced by nutrient deprivation, however, Mho1 overexpression blocked the invasive ability of yeast cells, suggesting that Mho1 might be acting in a dominant negative manner. Taken together, our results show that MHO1 is a novel synthetic lethal interactor with PLC1, and that both gene products are required for proliferation. Moreover, a role for Memo in cell motility/invasion appears to be conserved across species.

  18. Engineering and Functional Characterization of Fusion Genes Identifies Novel Oncogenic Drivers of Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Hengyu; Villafane, Nicole; Dogruluk, Turgut; Grzeskowiak, Caitlin L; Kong, Kathleen; Tsang, Yiu Huen; Zagorodna, Oksana; Pantazi, Angeliki; Yang, Lixing; Neill, Nicholas J; Kim, Young Won; Creighton, Chad J; Verhaak, Roel G; Mills, Gordon B; Park, Peter J; Kucherlapati, Raju; Scott, Kenneth L

    2017-07-01

    Oncogenic gene fusions drive many human cancers, but tools to more quickly unravel their functional contributions are needed. Here we describe methodology permitting fusion gene construction for functional evaluation. Using this strategy, we engineered the known fusion oncogenes, BCR-ABL1, EML4-ALK , and ETV6-NTRK3, as well as 20 previously uncharacterized fusion genes identified in The Cancer Genome Atlas datasets. In addition to confirming oncogenic activity of the known fusion oncogenes engineered by our construction strategy, we validated five novel fusion genes involving MET, NTRK2 , and BRAF kinases that exhibited potent transforming activity and conferred sensitivity to FDA-approved kinase inhibitors. Our fusion construction strategy also enabled domain-function studies of BRAF fusion genes. Our results confirmed other reports that the transforming activity of BRAF fusions results from truncation-mediated loss of inhibitory domains within the N-terminus of the BRAF protein. BRAF mutations residing within this inhibitory region may provide a means for BRAF activation in cancer, therefore we leveraged the modular design of our fusion gene construction methodology to screen N-terminal domain mutations discovered in tumors that are wild-type at the BRAF mutation hotspot, V600. We identified an oncogenic mutation, F247L, whose expression robustly activated the MAPK pathway and sensitized cells to BRAF and MEK inhibitors. When applied broadly, these tools will facilitate rapid fusion gene construction for subsequent functional characterization and translation into personalized treatment strategies. Cancer Res; 77(13); 3502-12. ©2017 AACR . ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.

  19. Engineering Next-Generation BET-Independent MLV Vectors for Safer Gene Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara El Ashkar

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Retroviral vectors have shown their curative potential in clinical trials correcting monogenetic disorders. However, therapeutic benefits were compromised due to vector-induced dysregulation of cellular genes and leukemia development in a subset of patients. Bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET proteins act as cellular cofactors that tether the murine leukemia virus (MLV pre-integration complex to host chromatin via interaction with the MLV integrase (IN and thereby define the typical gammaretroviral integration distribution. We engineered next-generation BET-independent (Bin MLV vectors to retarget their integration to regions where they are less likely to dysregulate nearby genes. We mutated MLV IN to uncouple BET protein interaction and fused it with chromatin-binding peptides. The addition of the CBX1 chromodomain to MLV INW390A efficiently targeted integration away from gene regulatory elements. The retargeted vector produced at high titers and efficiently transduced CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells, while fewer colonies were detected in a serial colony-forming assay, a surrogate test for genotoxicity. Our findings underscore the potential of the engineered vectors to reduce the risk of insertional mutagenesis without compromising transduction efficiency. Ultimately, combined with other safety features in vector design, next-generation BinMLV vectors can improve the safety of gammaretroviral vectors for gene therapy.

  20. Automating gene library synthesis by structure-based combinatorial protein engineering: examples from plant sesquiterpene synthases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dokarry, Melissa; Laurendon, Caroline; O'Maille, Paul E

    2012-01-01

    Structure-based combinatorial protein engineering (SCOPE) is a homology-independent recombination method to create multiple crossover gene libraries by assembling defined combinations of structural elements ranging from single mutations to domains of protein structure. SCOPE was originally inspired by DNA shuffling, which mimics recombination during meiosis, where mutations from parental genes are "shuffled" to create novel combinations in the resulting progeny. DNA shuffling utilizes sequence identity between parental genes to mediate template-switching events (the annealing and extension of one parental gene fragment on another) in PCR reassembly reactions to generate crossovers and hence recombination between parental genes. In light of the conservation of protein structure and degeneracy of sequence, SCOPE was developed to enable the "shuffling" of distantly related genes with no requirement for sequence identity. The central principle involves the use of oligonucleotides to encode for crossover regions to choreograph template-switching events during PCR assembly of gene fragments to create chimeric genes. This approach was initially developed to create libraries of hybrid DNA polymerases from distantly related parents, and later developed to create a combinatorial mutant library of sesquiterpene synthases to explore the catalytic landscapes underlying the functional divergence of related enzymes. This chapter presents a simplified protocol of SCOPE that can be integrated with different mutagenesis techniques and is suitable for automation by liquid-handling robots. Two examples are presented to illustrate the application of SCOPE to create gene libraries using plant sesquiterpene synthases as the model system. In the first example, we outline how to create an active-site library as a series of complex mixtures of diverse mutants. In the second example, we outline how to create a focused library as an array of individual clones to distil minimal combinations of

  1. GGRNA: an ultrafast, transcript-oriented search engine for genes and transcripts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yuki; Bono, Hidemasa

    2012-07-01

    GGRNA (http://GGRNA.dbcls.jp/) is a Google-like, ultrafast search engine for genes and transcripts. The web server accepts arbitrary words and phrases, such as gene names, IDs, gene descriptions, annotations of gene and even nucleotide/amino acid sequences through one simple search box, and quickly returns relevant RefSeq transcripts. A typical search takes just a few seconds, which dramatically enhances the usability of routine searching. In particular, GGRNA can search sequences as short as 10 nt or 4 amino acids, which cannot be handled easily by popular sequence analysis tools. Nucleotide sequences can be searched allowing up to three mismatches, or the query sequences may contain degenerate nucleotide codes (e.g. N, R, Y, S). Furthermore, Gene Ontology annotations, Enzyme Commission numbers and probe sequences of catalog microarrays are also incorporated into GGRNA, which may help users to conduct searches by various types of keywords. GGRNA web server will provide a simple and powerful interface for finding genes and transcripts for a wide range of users. All services at GGRNA are provided free of charge to all users.

  2. Dynamic gene expression for metabolic engineering of mammalian cells in culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Huong; Vishwanathan, Nandita; Kantardjieff, Anne; Doo, Inseok; Srienc, Michael; Zheng, Xiaolu; Somia, Nikunj; Hu, Wei-Shou

    2013-11-01

    Recombinant mammalian cells are the major hosts for the production of protein therapeutics. In addition to high expression of the product gene, a hyper-producer must also harbor superior phenotypic traits related to metabolism, protein secretion, and growth control. Introduction of genes endowing the relevant hyper-productivity traits is a strategy frequently used to enhance the productivity. Most of such cell engineering efforts have been performed using constitutive expression systems. However, cells respond to various environmental cues and cellular events dynamically according to cellular needs. The use of inducible systems allows for time dependent expression, but requires external manipulation. Ideally, a transgene's expression should be synchronous to the host cell's own rhythm, and at levels appropriate for the objective. To that end, we identified genes with different expression dynamics and intensity ranges using pooled transcriptome data. Their promoters may be used to drive the expression of the transgenes following the desired dynamics. We isolated the promoter of the Thioredoxin-interacting protein (Txnip) gene and demonstrated its capability to drive transgene expression in concert with cell growth. We further employed this Chinese hamster promoter to engineer dynamic expression of the mouse GLUT5 fructose transporter in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, enabling them to utilize sugar according to cellular needs rather than in excess as typically seen in culture. Thus, less lactate was produced, resulting in a better growth rate, prolonged culture duration, and higher product titer. This approach illustrates a novel concept in metabolic engineering which can potentially be used to achieve dynamic control of cellular behaviors for enhanced process characteristics. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Development, evaluation, and laboratory validation of immunoassays for the diagnosis of equine infectious anemia (EIA) using recombinant protein produced from a synthetic p26 gene of EIA virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singha, Harisankar; Goyal, Sachin K; Malik, Praveen; Khurana, Sandip K; Singh, Raj K

    2013-12-01

    Equine infectious anemia (EIA)-a retroviral disease caused by equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV)-is a chronic, debilitating disease of horses, mules, and donkeys. EIAV infection has been reported worldwide and is recognized as pathogen of significant economic importance to the horse industry. This disease falls under regulatory control program in many countries including India. Control of EIA is based on identification of inapparent carriers by detection of antibodies to EIAV in serologic tests and "Stamping Out" policy. The current internationally accepted test for diagnosis of EIA is the agar gel immune-diffusion test (AGID), which detects antibodies to the major gag gene (p26) product. The objective of this study was to develop recombinant p26 based in-house immunoassays [enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and AGID] for EIA diagnosis. The synthetic p26 gene of EIAV was expressed in Escherichia coli and diagnostic potential of recombinant p26 protein were evaluated in ELISA and AGID on 7,150 and 1,200 equine serum samples, respectively, and compared with commercial standard AGID kit. The relative sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed ELISA were 100 and 98.6 %, respectively. Whereas, relative sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed AGID were in complete agreement in respect to commercial AGID kit. Here, we have reported the validation of an ELISA and AGID on large number of equine serum samples using recombinant p26 protein produced from synthetic gene which does not require handling of pathogenic EIAV. Since the indigenously developed reagents would be economical than commercial diagnostic kit, the rp26 based-immunoassays could be adopted for the sero-diagnosis and control of EIA in India.

  4. Development of inducible systems to engineer conditional mutants of essential genes of Helicobacter pylori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boneca, Ivo G; Ecobichon, Chantal; Chaput, Catherine; Mathieu, Aurélie; Guadagnini, Stéphanie; Prévost, Marie-Christine; Colland, Frédéric; Labigne, Agnès; de Reuse, Hilde

    2008-04-01

    The Escherichia coli-Helicobacter pylori shuttle vector pHeL2 was modified to introduce the inducible LacI(q)-pTac system of E. coli, in which the promoters were engineered to be under the control of H. pylori RNA polymerase. The amiE gene promoter of H. pylori was taken to constitutively express the LacI(q) repressor. Expression of the reporter gene lacZ was driven by either pTac (pILL2150) or a modified version of the ureI gene promoter in which one or two LacI-binding sites and/or mutated nucleotides between the ribosomal binding site and the ATG start codon (pILL2153 and pILL2157) were introduced. Promoter activity was evaluated by measuring beta-galactosidase activity. pILL2150 is a tightly regulated expression system suitable for the analysis of genes with low-level expression, while pILL2157 is well adapted for the controlled expression of genes encoding recombinant proteins in H. pylori. To exemplify the usefulness of these tools, we constructed conditional mutants of the putative essential pbp1 and ftsI genes encoding penicillin-binding proteins 1 and 3 of H. pylori, respectively. Both genes were cloned into pILL2150 and introduced in the parental H. pylori strain N6. The chromosomally harbored pbp1 and ftsI genes were then inactivated by replacing them with a nonpolar kanamycin cassette. Inactivation was strictly dependent upon addition of isopropyl-beta-d-thiogalactopyranoside. Hence, we were able to construct the first conditional mutants of H. pylori. Finally, we demonstrated that following in vitro methylation of the recombinant plasmids, these could be introduced into a large variety of H. pylori isolates with different genetic backgrounds.

  5. Synthetic Cannabinoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aslihan Okan Ibiloglu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic cannabinoids which is a subgroup of cannabinoids are commonly used for recreational drug use throughout the whole world. Although both marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids stimulate the same receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1 and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2, studies have shown that synthetic cannabinoids are much more potent than marijuana. The longer use of synthetic cannabinoids can cause severe physical and psychological symptoms that might even result in death, similar to many known illicit drugs. Main treatment options mostly involve symptom management and supportive care. The aim of this article is to discuss clinical and pharmacological properties of the increasingly used synthetic cannabinoids. [Psikiyatride Guncel Yaklasimlar - Current Approaches in Psychiatry 2017; 9(3.000: 317-328

  6. Synthetic Biology: Life, Jim, but Not As We Know It

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinan, Jennifer

    Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's classic tale of horror, warns of the perils of hubris: of the terrible fate that awaits when Man plays God and attempts to create life. Molecular biologists are clearly not listening. Not content with merely inserting the occasional gene into the genome of an existing organism. they are developing a whole new field, Synthetic Biology, which aims to engineer from first principles organisms with desirable, controllable qualities.

  7. Biopolymer-Based Nanoparticles for Drug/Gene Delivery and Tissue Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiji Numata

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been a great interest in application of nanoparticles as biomaterials for delivery of therapeutic molecules such as drugs and genes, and for tissue engineering. In particular, biopolymers are suitable materials as nanoparticles for clinical application due to their versatile traits, including biocompatibility, biodegradability and low immunogenicity. Biopolymers are polymers that are produced from living organisms, which are classified in three groups: polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids. It is important to control particle size, charge, morphology of surface and release rate of loaded molecules to use biopolymer-based nanoparticles as drug/gene delivery carriers. To obtain a nano-carrier for therapeutic purposes, a variety of materials and preparation process has been attempted. This review focuses on fabrication of biocompatible nanoparticles consisting of biopolymers such as protein (silk, collagen, gelatin, β-casein, zein and albumin, protein-mimicked polypeptides and polysaccharides (chitosan, alginate, pullulan, starch and heparin. The effects of the nature of the materials and the fabrication process on the characteristics of the nanoparticles are described. In addition, their application as delivery carriers of therapeutic drugs and genes and biomaterials for tissue engineering are also reviewed.

  8. Construction of adipose scaffold for bone repair with gene engineering bone cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weiming; Fan, Jingzhang; Chen, Feng; Yang, Weiliang; Su, Jian; Bi, Zhenggang

    2013-12-01

    The bone defect repairing is still a challenge in orthopedics. As the gene engineering bones have been used in the bone repairing clinic, the scaffold construction is a critical fact to be considered. This study aims to construct optimal scaffolds using adipose tissue in the bone repair together with the gene engineering osteocytes. Rat adipose stem cells (ASC) were prepared; the cells were transduced with the OCT-4 gene carrying lentiviral vectors (OCT-4-Lv). Artificial bone defects were created in the rat femoral bone. The bone defects were filled up with adipose scaffolds and shaped by using surrounding muscles and supported with orthopedic splints. ASCs with or without transducing the OCT-4-Lv were injected into the adipose scaffolds. The rats were sacrificed 12 weeks after the surgery. After receiving the OCT-4-Lv, the expressions of OCT-4, RUNX2 and osteocalcin were detected in the ASCs. X-ray examination showed that rats received the OCT-4-Lv transduced ASCs together with the adipose pad had new bone formation in the defect area; none of the control rats showed any new bone formation in situ. The results were supported by histological assessment. Using adipose scaffold and OCT-4-modified ASC transplantation can repair bone defects.

  9. Gene Delivery Particle Engineering Strategies for Shape-dependent Targeting of Cells and Tissues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozielski, Kristen L; Sitti, Metin

    2017-01-01

    Successful gene delivery requires overcoming both systemic and intracellular obstacles before the nucleic acid cargo can successfully reach its tissue and subcellular target location. Materials & Methods: Non-viral mechanisms to enable targeting while avoiding off-target delivery have arisen via biological, chemical, and physical engineering strategies. Herein we will discuss the physical parameters in particle design that promote tissue- and cell-targeted delivery of genetic cargo. We will discuss systemic concerns, such as circulation, tissue localization, and clearance, as well as cell-scale obstacles, such as cellular uptake and nucleic acid packaging. In particular, we will focus on engineering particle shape and size in order to enhance delivery and promote precise targeting. We will also address methods to program or change particle shape in situ using environmentally triggered cues. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  10. Non-viral gene delivery strategies for cancer therapy, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhise, Nupura S.

    Gene therapy involves the delivery of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) into cells to override or replace a malfunctioning gene for treating debilitating genetic diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to its use as a therapeutic, it can also serve as a technology to enable regenerative medicine strategies. The central challenge of the gene therapy research arena is developing a safe and effective delivery agent. Since viral vectors have critical immunogenic and tumorogenic safety issues that limit their clinical use, recent efforts have focused on developing non-viral biomaterial based delivery vectors. Cationic polymers are an attractive class of gene delivery vectors due to their structural versatility, ease of synthesis, biodegradability, ability to self-complex into nanoparticles with negatively charged DNA, capacity to carry large cargo, cellular uptake and endosomal escape capacity. In this thesis, we hypothesized that developing a biomaterial library of poly(betaamino esters) (PBAE), a newer class of cationic polymers consisting of biodegradable ester groups, would allow investigating vector design parameters and formulating effective non-viral gene delivery strategies for cancer drug delivery, tissue engineering and stem cell engineering. Consequently, a high-throughput transfection assay was developed to screen the PBAE-based nanoparticles in hard to transfect fibroblast cell lines. To gain mechanistic insights into the nanoparticle formulation process, biophysical properties of the vectors were characterized in terms of molecular weight (MW), nanoparticle size, zeta potential and plasmid per particle count. We report a novel assay developed for quantifying the plasmid per nanoparticle count and studying its implications for co-delivery of multiple genes. The MW of the polymers ranged from 10 kDa to 100 kDa, nanoparticle size was about 150 run, zeta potential was about 30 mV in sodium acetate buffer (25 mM, pH 5) and 30 to 100

  11. An approach for reduction of false predictions in reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Abhinandan; Saha, Goutam; Pal, Rajat Kumar

    2018-05-14

    A gene regulatory network discloses the regulatory interactions amongst genes, at a particular condition of the human body. The accurate reconstruction of such networks from time-series genetic expression data using computational tools offers a stiff challenge for contemporary computer scientists. This is crucial to facilitate the understanding of the proper functioning of a living organism. Unfortunately, the computational methods produce many false predictions along with the correct predictions, which is unwanted. Investigations in the domain focus on the identification of as many correct regulations as possible in the reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks to make it more reliable and biologically relevant. One way to achieve this is to reduce the number of incorrect predictions in the reconstructed networks. In the present investigation, we have proposed a novel scheme to decrease the number of false predictions by suitably combining several metaheuristic techniques. We have implemented the same using a dataset ensemble approach (i.e. combining multiple datasets) also. We have employed the proposed methodology on real-world experimental datasets of the SOS DNA Repair network of Escherichia coli and the IMRA network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Subsequently, we have experimented upon somewhat larger, in silico networks, namely, DREAM3 and DREAM4 Challenge networks, and 15-gene and 20-gene networks extracted from the GeneNetWeaver database. To study the effect of multiple datasets on the quality of the inferred networks, we have used four datasets in each experiment. The obtained results are encouraging enough as the proposed methodology can reduce the number of false predictions significantly, without using any supplementary prior biological information for larger gene regulatory networks. It is also observed that if a small amount of prior biological information is incorporated here, the results improve further w.r.t. the prediction of true positives

  12. Molecular mapping of stripe rust resistance gene YrSE5756 in synthetic hexaploid wheat and its transfer to common wheat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Y.J.; Wang, C.Y.; Zhang, H.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic hexaploid wheat is an important germplasm resource for transfer of beneficial genes from alien species to common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Synthetic hexaploid wheat SE5756 confers a high level of resistance against a wide range of races of Puccinia striiformis West. f. sp. tritici Eriks. et Henn.(Pst). The objectives of this study were to determine the inheritance pattern, adjacent molecular markers, and chromosomal location of the stripe rust resistance gene in SE5756 and to develop new germplasm. We constructed a segregating population of 116 F2 plants and corresponding F2:3 families from a cross between SE5756 and Xinong979 with Pst races CYR32. Genetic analysis revealed that a single dominant gene, tentatively designated as YrSE5756, was responsible for seedling stage stripe rust resistance in SE5756. A genetic map, encompassing Xwmc626, Xwmc269, Xgwm11, Xbarx137, Xwmc419, Xwmc85, Xgpw5237, Xwmc134, WE173, Xwmc631, and YrSE5756, spanned 70.1 cM on chromosome 1BS. Xwmc419 and Xwmc85 were flanking markers tightly linked to YrSE5756 at genetic distances of 2.3 and 1.8 cM. Typical adult plant responses of the SE5756, varieties of the carrier Yr10 and Yr15, Chuanmai 42 (Yr24/Yr26), Yuanfeng 175 (Yr24/Yr26) and Huixianhong resistant to mixture Pst races (CYR32, CYR33 and V26) were experimented. The results showed that YrSE5756 was likely a new resistance stripe rust gene different from Yr24/Yr26, Yr10 and Yr15. From cross and backcross populations of SE5756/Xinong 979, we developed four new wheat lines with large seeds, stripe rust resistance, and improved agronomic traits: N07178-1, N07178-2, N08256-1, and N08256-2. These new germplasm lines could serve as sources of resistance to stripe rust in wheat breeding. SE5756 has the very vital significance in the development of breeding and expand our resistance germplasm resource gene pool. (author)

  13. Small molecule inhibitors uncover synthetic genetic interactions of human flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1 with DNA damage response genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas A Ward

    Full Text Available Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1 is a structure selective endonuclease required for proficient DNA replication and the repair of DNA damage. Cellularly active inhibitors of this enzyme have previously been shown to induce a DNA damage response and, ultimately, cell death. High-throughput screens of human cancer cell-lines identify colorectal and gastric cell-lines with microsatellite instability (MSI as enriched for cellular sensitivity to N-hydroxyurea series inhibitors of FEN1, but not the PARP inhibitor olaparib or other inhibitors of the DNA damage response. This sensitivity is due to a synthetic lethal interaction between FEN1 and MRE11A, which is often mutated in MSI cancers through instabilities at a poly(T microsatellite repeat. Disruption of ATM is similarly synthetic lethal with FEN1 inhibition, suggesting that disruption of FEN1 function leads to the accumulation of DNA double-strand breaks. These are likely a result of the accumulation of aberrant replication forks, that accumulate as a consequence of a failure in Okazaki fragment maturation, as inhibition of FEN1 is toxic in cells disrupted for the Fanconi anemia pathway and post-replication repair. Furthermore, RAD51 foci accumulate as a consequence of FEN1 inhibition and the toxicity of FEN1 inhibitors increases in cells disrupted for the homologous recombination pathway, suggesting a role for homologous recombination in the resolution of damage induced by FEN1 inhibition. Finally, FEN1 appears to be required for the repair of damage induced by olaparib and cisplatin within the Fanconi anemia pathway, and may play a role in the repair of damage associated with its own disruption.

  14. Tissue-engineered human bioartificial muscles expressing a foreign recombinant protein for gene therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, C.; Shansky, J.; Del Tatto, M.; Forman, D. E.; Hennessey, J.; Sullivan, K.; Zielinski, B. A.; Vandenburgh, H. H.

    1999-01-01

    Murine skeletal muscle cells transduced with foreign genes and tissue engineered in vitro into bioartificial muscles (BAMs) are capable of long-term delivery of soluble growth factors when implanted into syngeneic mice (Vandenburgh et al., 1996b). With the goal of developing a therapeutic cell-based protein delivery system for humans, similar genetic tissue-engineering techniques were designed for human skeletal muscle stem cells. Stem cell myoblasts were isolated, cloned, and expanded in vitro from biopsied healthy adult (mean age, 42 +/- 2 years), and elderly congestive heart failure patient (mean age, 76 +/- 1 years) skeletal muscle. Total cell yield varied widely between biopsies (50 to 672 per 100 mg of tissue, N = 10), but was not significantly different between the two patient groups. Percent myoblasts per biopsy (73 +/- 6%), number of myoblast doublings prior to senescence in vitro (37 +/- 2), and myoblast doubling time (27 +/- 1 hr) were also not significantly different between the two patient groups. Fusion kinetics of the myoblasts were similar for the two groups after 20-22 doublings (74 +/- 2% myoblast fusion) when the biopsy samples had been expanded to 1 to 2 billion muscle cells, a number acceptable for human gene therapy use. The myoblasts from the two groups could be equally transduced ex vivo with replication-deficient retroviral expression vectors to secrete 0.5 to 2 microg of a foreign protein (recombinant human growth hormone, rhGH)/10(6) cells/day, and tissue engineered into human BAMs containing parallel arrays of differentiated, postmitotic myofibers. This work suggests that autologous human skeletal myoblasts from a potential patient population can be isolated, genetically modified to secrete foreign proteins, and tissue engineered into implantable living protein secretory devices for therapeutic use.

  15. Synthetic biology for microbial heavy metal biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Ju; Jeong, Haeyoung; Lee, Sang Jun

    2018-02-01

    Using recombinant DNA technology, various whole-cell biosensors have been developed for detection of environmental pollutants, including heavy metal ions. Whole-cell biosensors have several advantages: easy and inexpensive cultivation, multiple assays, and no requirement of any special techniques for analysis. In the era of synthetic biology, cutting-edge DNA sequencing and gene synthesis technologies have accelerated the development of cell-based biosensors. Here, we summarize current technological advances in whole-cell heavy metal biosensors, including the synthetic biological components (bioparts), sensing and reporter modules, genetic circuits, and chassis cells. We discuss several opportunities for improvement of synthetic cell-based biosensors. First, new functional modules must be discovered in genome databases, and this knowledge must be used to upgrade specific bioparts through molecular engineering. Second, modules must be assembled into functional biosystems in chassis cells. Third, heterogeneity of individual cells in the microbial population must be eliminated. In the perspectives, the development of whole-cell biosensors is also discussed in the aspects of cultivation methods and synthetic cells.

  16. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorochowski, Thomas E

    2016-11-30

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  17. Engineering zinc finger protein transcription factors : The therapeutic relevance of switching endogenous gene expression on or off at command

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gommans, WM; Haisma, HJ; Rots, MG

    2005-01-01

    Modulating gene expression directly at the DNA level represents a novel approach to control cellular processes. In this respect, zinc finger protein DNA-binding domains can be engineered to target virtually any gene. Coupling of a transcription activation or repression domain to these zinc fingers

  18. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  19. Effect of gamma irradiation on nutritional components and Cry1Ab protein in the transgenic rice with a synthetic cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Dianxing; Ye Qingfu; Wang Zhonghua; Xia Yingwu

    2004-01-01

    The effects of gamma irradiation on the transgenic rice containing a synthetic cry1Ab gene from Bacillus thuringiensis were investigated. There was almost no difference in the content of the major nutritional components, i.e. crude protein, crude lipid, eight essential amino acids and total ash between the irradiated grains and the non-irradiated transgenic rice. However, the amounts of Cry1Ab protein and apparent amylose in the irradiated transgenic rice were reduced significantly by the doses higher than 200 Gy. In vivo observation showed that Cry1Ab protein contents also decreased in the fresh leaf tissues of survival seedlings after irradiation with 200 Gy or higher doses and showed inhibition of seedling growth. The results indicate that gamma irradiation might improve the quality of transgenic rice due to removal of the toxic Cry1Ab protein

  20. Molecular, cellular, and tissue engineering

    CERN Document Server

    Bronzino, Joseph D

    2015-01-01

    Known as the bible of biomedical engineering, The Biomedical Engineering Handbook, Fourth Edition, sets the standard against which all other references of this nature are measured. As such, it has served as a major resource for both skilled professionals and novices to biomedical engineering. Molecular, Cellular, and Tissue Engineering, the fourth volume of the handbook, presents material from respected scientists with diverse backgrounds in molecular biology, transport phenomena, physiological modeling, tissue engineering, stem cells, drug delivery systems, artificial organs, and personalized medicine. More than three dozen specific topics are examined, including DNA vaccines, biomimetic systems, cardiovascular dynamics, biomaterial scaffolds, cell mechanobiology, synthetic biomaterials, pluripotent stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, nanobiomaterials for tissue engineering, biomedical imaging of engineered tissues, gene therapy, noninvasive targeted protein and peptide drug deliver...

  1. "Knight in shining armour" or "Frankenstein's creation"? The coverage of synthetic biology in German-language media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gschmeidler, Brigitte; Seiringer, Alexandra

    2012-02-01

    Although still a side issue in the German-language media, attention towards synthetic biology has risen clearly during the last years, in line with the first applications being presented. This paper presents findings from a content analysis of synthetic biology coverage in German-language media over the years 2004-2009. In the media, synthetic biology is not clearly separated from gene technology. News value is attributed to established categories such as persons and events. Many metaphors and analogies used in describing gene technology can also be found in the coverage of synthetic biology; however, engineering metaphors are more prominent. In addition, playfulness constitutes an aspect rarely found in genetic engineering coverage. Overall, the picture emerging is ambivalent, which leaves prospects for the further development of public debate ambiguous.

  2. Engineering and Functional Characterization of Fusion Genes Identifies Novel Oncogenic Drivers of Cancer. | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oncogenic gene fusions drive many human cancers, but tools to more quickly unravel their functional contributions are needed. Here we describe methodology permitting fusion gene construction for functional evaluation. Using this strategy, we engineered the known fusion oncogenes, BCR-ABL1, EML4-ALK, and ETV6-NTRK3, as well as 20 previously uncharacterized fusion genes identified in TCGA datasets.

  3. Causal and Synthetic Associations of Variants in the SERPINA Gene Cluster with Alpha1-antitrypsin Serum Levels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thun, Gian Andri; Imboden, Medea; Ferrarotti, Ilaria

    2013-01-01

    Several infrequent genetic polymorphisms in the SERPINA1 gene are known to substantially reduce concentration of alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) in the blood. Since low AAT serum levels fail to protect pulmonary tissue from enzymatic degradation, these polymorphisms also increase the risk for early onse...

  4. Synthetic oils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatton, R. E.

    1973-01-01

    Synthetic lubricants are discussed by chemical class and their general strengths and weaknesses in terms of lubrication properties are analyzed. Comparative ratings are given for 14 chemical classes and are used as a guide for lubricant selection. The effects of chemical structure on the properties of the lubricant are described with special emphasis on thermal stability. The diversity of synthetic lubricants which is provided by the wide range of properties permits many applications, some of which are reported.

  5. Altered Levels of Aroma and Volatiles by Metabolic Engineering of Shikimate Pathway Genes in Tomato Fruits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vered Tzin

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum fruit is an excellent source of antioxidants, dietary fibers, minerals and vitamins and therefore has been referred to as a “functional food”. Ripe tomato fruits produce a large number of specialized metabolites including volatile organic compounds. These volatiles serve as key components of the tomato fruit flavor, participate in plant pathogen and herbivore defense, and are used to attract seed dispersers. A major class of specialized metabolites is derived from the shikimate pathway followed by aromatic amino acid biosynthesis of phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. We attempted to modify tomato fruit flavor by overexpressing key regulatory genes in the shikimate pathway. Bacterial genes encoding feedback-insensitive variants of 3-Deoxy-D-Arabino-Heptulosonate 7-Phosphate Synthase (DAHPS; AroG209-9 and bi-functional Chorismate Mutase/Prephenate Dehydratase (CM/PDT; PheA12 were expressed under the control of a fruit-specific promoter. We crossed these transgenes to generate tomato plants expressing both the AroG209 and PheA12 genes. Overexpression of the AroG209-9 gene had a dramatic effect on the overall metabolic profile of the fruit, including enhanced levels of multiple volatile and non-volatile metabolites. In contrast, the PheA12 overexpression line exhibited minor metabolic effects compared to the wild type fruit. Co-expression of both the AroG209-9 and PheA12 genes in tomato resulted overall in a similar metabolic effect to that of expressing only the AroG209-9 gene. However, the aroma ranking attributes of the tomato fruits from PheA12//AroG209-9 were unique and different from those of the lines expressing a single gene, suggesting a contribution of the PheA12 gene to the overall metabolic profile. We suggest that expression of bacterial genes encoding feedback-insensitive enzymes of the shikimate pathway in tomato fruits provides a useful metabolic engineering tool for the modification of

  6. Synthetic Biology in Health and Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Passel, van M.W.J.; Lam, C.M.C.; Martins dos Santos, V.A.P.; Suarez Diez, M.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology draws on the understanding from genetics, biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, and computational sciences to (re-)design and (re-)engineer biological functions. Here we address how synthetic biology can be possibly deployed to promote health and tackle disease. We discuss how

  7. Physical properties and in vitro transfection efficiency of gene delivery vectors based on complexes of DNA with synthetic polycations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reschel, Tomáš; Koňák, Čestmír; Oupický, D.; Seymour, L. W.; Ulbrich, Karel

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 81, 1-2 (2002), s. 201-217 ISSN 0168-3659 R&D Projects: GA ČR GV307/96/K226; GA AV ČR IAA1050101 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4050913 Keywords : gene delivery * self assembly * polycation/DNA complexes Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry Impact factor: 3.131, year: 2002

  8. The expanding universe of transposon technologies for gene and cell engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivics Zoltán

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Transposable elements can be viewed as natural DNA transfer vehicles that, similar to integrating viruses, are capable of efficient genomic insertion. The mobility of class II transposable elements (DNA transposons can be controlled by conditionally providing the transposase component of the transposition reaction. Thus, a DNA of interest (be it a fluorescent marker, a small hairpin (shRNA expression cassette, a mutagenic gene trap or a therapeutic gene construct cloned between the inverted repeat sequences of a transposon-based vector can be used for stable genomic insertion in a regulated and highly efficient manner. This methodological paradigm opened up a number of avenues for genome manipulations in vertebrates, including transgenesis for the generation of transgenic cells in tissue culture, the production of germline transgenic animals for basic and applied research, forward genetic screens for functional gene annotation in model species, and therapy of genetic disorders in humans. Sleeping Beauty (SB was the first transposon shown to be capable of gene transfer in vertebrate cells, and recent results confirm that SB supports a full spectrum of genetic engineering including transgenesis, insertional mutagenesis, and therapeutic somatic gene transfer both ex vivo and in vivo. The first clinical application of the SB system will help to validate both the safety and efficacy of this approach. In this review, we describe the major transposon systems currently available (with special emphasis on SB, discuss the various parameters and considerations pertinent to their experimental use, and highlight the state of the art in transposon technology in diverse genetic applications.

  9. Minimal-length Synthetic shRNAs Formulated with Lipid Nanoparticles are Potent Inhibitors of Hepatitis C Virus IRES-linked Gene Expression in Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Dallas

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available We previously identified short synthetic shRNAs (sshRNAs that target a conserved hepatitis C virus (HCV sequence within the internal ribosome entry site (IRES of HCV and potently inhibit HCV IRES-linked gene expression. To assess in vivo liver delivery and activity, the HCV-directed sshRNA, SG220 was formulated into lipid nanoparticles (LNP and injected i.v. into mice whose livers supported stable HCV IRES-luciferase expression from a liver-specific promoter. After a single injection, RNase protection assays for the sshRNA and 3H labeling of a lipid component of the nanoparticles showed efficient liver uptake of both components and long-lasting survival of a significant fraction of the sshRNA in the liver. In vivo imaging showed a dose-dependent inhibition of luciferase expression (>90% 1 day after injection of 2.5 mg/kg sshRNA with t1/2 for recovery of about 3 weeks. These results demonstrate the ability of moderate levels of i.v.-injected, LNP-formulated sshRNAs to be taken up by liver hepatocytes at a level sufficient to substantially suppress gene expression. Suppression is rapid and durable, suggesting that sshRNAs may have promise as therapeutic agents for liver indications.

  10. Synthetic environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukes, George E.; Cain, Joel M.

    1996-02-01

    The Advanced Distributed Simulation (ADS) Synthetic Environments Program seeks to create robust virtual worlds from operational terrain and environmental data sources of sufficient fidelity and currency to interact with the real world. While some applications can be met by direct exploitation of standard digital terrain data, more demanding applications -- particularly those support operations 'close to the ground' -- are well-served by emerging capabilities for 'value-adding' by the user working with controlled imagery. For users to rigorously refine and exploit controlled imagery within functionally different workstations they must have a shared framework to allow interoperability within and between these environments in terms of passing image and object coordinates and other information using a variety of validated sensor models. The Synthetic Environments Program is now being expanded to address rapid construction of virtual worlds with research initiatives in digital mapping, softcopy workstations, and cartographic image understanding. The Synthetic Environments Program is also participating in a joint initiative for a sensor model applications programer's interface (API) to ensure that a common controlled imagery exploitation framework is available to all researchers, developers and users. This presentation provides an introduction to ADS and the associated requirements for synthetic environments to support synthetic theaters of war. It provides a technical rationale for exploring applications of image understanding technology to automated cartography in support of ADS and related programs benefitting from automated analysis of mapping, earth resources and reconnaissance imagery. And it provides an overview and status of the joint initiative for a sensor model API.

  11. The Multi-Purpose Tool of Tumor Immunotherapy: Gene-Engineered T Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Zeming; Du, Peixin; Wang, Guoping; Wang, Yongsheng

    2017-01-01

    A detailed summary of the published clinical trials of chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) and TCR-transduced T cells (TCR-T) was constructed to understand the development trend of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT). In contrast to TCR-T, the number of CAR-T clinical trials has increased dramatically in China in the last three years. The ACT seems to be very prosperous. But, the multidimensional interaction of tumor, tumor associated antigen (TAA) and normal tissue exacerbates the uncontrolled outcome of T cells gene therapy. It reminds us the importance that optimizing treatment security to prevent the fatal serious adverse events. How to balance the safety and effectiveness of the ACT? At least six measures can potentially optimize the safety of ACT. At the same time, with the application of gene editing techniques, more endogenous receptors are disrupted while more exogenous receptors are expressed on T cells. As a multi-purpose tool of tumor immunotherapy, gene-engineered T cells (GE-T) have been given different functional weapons. A network which is likely to link radiation therapy, tumor vaccines, CAR-T and TCR-T is being built. Moreover, more and more evidences indicated that the combination of the ACT and other therapies would further enhance the anti-tumor capacity of the GE-T.

  12. Effect of RYR1T Gene Polymorphism on the Initial Growth and Fattening and Slaughter Values of Polish Synthetic Line 990 Pigs Reared in Standardized Litters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Pietruszka

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the ryanodine receptor gene - RYR1T polymorphism on the initial growth and fattening and slaughter values of Polish Synthetic Line 990 pigs reared in standardized litters. The study was carried on 276 offspring of hyperprolific sows. The sows gave birth to at least 12 live-born piglets. On the first day after birth, litters were equalised to 12 piglets in litter. The body weight was examined on the 21st (21BW, 28th (28BW, 63rd (63BW and 180th (180BW days of life. During evaluation, the live average daily gain (LADG from birth to day 180 of life and the average daily gain (ADG from day 63 to day 180 of life were determined. The percentage meat content (PMC, backfat thickness (BFT and loin eye thickness (LET was determined using PIGLOG 105 ultrasound apparatus. Two alleles of the RYR1 gene (RYR1C, RYR1T and three genotypes (C/C, C/T and T/T were identified. The 21BW and 28BW of the T/T genotype were significantly lower than that of the C/C and C/T. The highest PMC was characteristic of the T/T genotype, whereas the lowest one of the C/C genotype (p ⪬ 0.05. The T/T genotype had a higher LET than the C/C genotype (p ⪬ 0.05. No significant differences with respect to LADG, ADG and BFT between RYR1 genotypes were found. It can be stated that early identification of homozygous animals with respect to the RYR1T gene may allow the prediction of the body weight of animals in the initial period of their rearing.

  13. Effect of suppression of arabinoxylan synthetic genes in wheat endosperm on chain length of arabinoxylan and extract viscosity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Jackie; Lovegrove, Alison; Wilkinson, Mark David; Saulnier, Luc; Shewry, Peter Robert; Mitchell, Rowan Andrew Craig

    2016-01-01

    Arabinoxylan (AX) is the dominant component within wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) endosperm cell walls, accounting for 70% of the polysaccharide. The viscosity of aqueous extracts from wheat grain is a key trait influencing the processing for various end uses, and this is largely determined by the properties of endosperm AX. We have previously shown dramatic effects on endosperm AX in transgenic wheat by down-regulating either TaGT43_2 or TaGT47_2 genes (orthologues to IRX9 and IRX10 in Arabidopsis, respectively) implicated in AX chain extension and the TaXAT1 gene responsible for monosubstitution by 3-linked arabinose. Here, we use these transgenic lines to investigate the relationship between amounts of AX in soluble and insoluble fractions, the chain-length distribution of these measured by intrinsic viscosity and the overall effect on extract viscosity. In transgenic lines expressing either the TaGT43_2 or TaGT47_2 RNAi transgenes, the intrinsic viscosities of water-extractable (WE-AX) and of a water-insoluble alkaline-extracted fraction (AE-AX) were decreased by between 10% and 50% compared to control lines. In TaXAT1 RNAi lines, there was a 15% decrease in intrinsic viscosity of WE-AX but no consistent effect on that of AE-AX. All transgenic lines showed decreases in extract viscosity with larger effects in TaGT43_2 and TaGT47_2 RNAi lines (by up to sixfold) than in TaXAT1 RNAi lines (by twofold). These effects were explained by the decreases in amount and chain length of WE-AX, with decreases in amount having the greater influence. Extract viscosity from wheat grain can therefore be greatly decreased by suppression of single gene targets. © 2015 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Synthetic Biology for Specialty Chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Kelly A; Alper, Hal S

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances in the field of synthetic biology and describe how those tools have been applied to produce a wide variety of chemicals in microorganisms. Here we classify the expansion of the synthetic biology toolbox into three different categories based on their primary function in strain engineering-for design, for construction, and for optimization. Next, focusing on recent years, we look at how chemicals have been produced using these new synthetic biology tools. Advances in producing fuels are briefly described, followed by a more thorough treatment of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Throughout this review, an emphasis is placed on how synthetic biology tools are applied to strain engineering. Finally, we discuss organism and host strain diversity and provide a future outlook in the field.

  15. Subcloning and Assessment of the Expression of Synthetic Gene of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A Binding Domain (BD/A

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Zavvary

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Botulism syndrome is caused by Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin. This neurotoxin has seven serotypes ranging from A to G. The best way to prevent botulism syndrome caused by Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT, is using recombinant vaccine made from its binding domain (due to having sufficient epitopes to stimulate immune system. In this study, the binding domain of BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A, was investigated. Methods: Initially, BoNT/A gene with accession number CP000727.1, was obtained from GenBank and was codon optimized according to the codon usage of E. coli. Then, the sequence was synthesized in pET28a plasmid and then subcloned in pGEX-4T-1 expression plasmid. The subcloning was done using PCR with Pfu DNA polymerase and then double digestion with XmaI and XhoI restriction enzymes. E. coli BL21 strain was used as the expression host. The selected marker for pGEX-4T-1 was ampicillin. Results: PCR and restriction digestion with the mentioned enzymes confirmed the subcloning process. The assessment of gene expression was performed by SDS-PAGE and western blotting (using horse anti-BoNT/A (and then glutathione affinity chromatography was performed. Although, the subcloning was performed successfully, no protein expression was observed.  Conclusion: According to the findings of this study, it seems that other hosts, such as eukaryotic hosts should be used for recombinant expression of BoNT/A binding domain.

  16. Cationic lipids bearing succinic-based, acyclic and macrocyclic hydrophobic domains: Synthetic studies and in vitro gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jubeli, Emile; Maginty, Amanda B; Khalique, Nada Abdul; Raju, Liji; Nicholson, David G; Larsen, Helge; Pungente, Michael D; Goldring, William P D

    2017-01-05

    In this communication we describe the construction of four succinic-based cationic lipids, their formulation with plasmid DNA (pDNA), and an evaluation of their in vitro gene delivery into Chinese hamster ovarian (CHO-K1) cells. The cationic lipids employed in this work possess either a dimethylamine or trimethylamine headgroup, and a macrocyclic or an acyclic hydrophobic domain composed of, or derived from two 16-atom, succinic-based acyl chains. The synthesized lipids and a co-lipid of neutral charge, either cholesterol or 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), were formulated in an overall 3:2 cationic-to-neutral lipid molar ratio, then complexed with plasmid DNA (pDNA). The relative transfection performance was evaluated via a comparison between matched versus mismatched formulations defined by the rigidity relationship between the lipids employed. Gel electrophoresis was used to characterize the binding of the lipid formulations with plasmid DNA and the relative degree of plasmid degradation using a DNase I degradation assay. Small angle X-ray diffraction (SAXD) was employed to characterize the packing morphology of the lipid-DNA complexes. In general, the succinic unit embedded within the hydrophobic domain of the cationic lipids was found to improve lipid hydration. The transfection assays revealed a general trend in which mismatched formulations that employed a rigid lipid combined with a non-rigid (or flexible) lipid, outperformed the matched formulations. The results from this work suggest that the design of the cationic lipid structure and the composition of the lipoplex formulation play key roles in governing the transfection performance of nonviral gene delivery agents. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Engineering an enhanced, thermostable, monomeric bacterial luciferase gene as a reporter in plant protoplasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boyu Cui

    Full Text Available The application of the luxCDABE operon of the bioluminescent bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens as a reporter has been published for bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. We report here the optimization of fused luxAB (the bacterial luciferase heterodimeric enzyme expression, quantum yield and its application as a reporter gene in plant protoplasts. The fused luxAB gene was mutated by error prone PCR or chemical mutagenesis and screened for enhanced luciferase activity utilizing decanal as substrate. Positive luxAB mutants with superior quantum yield were subsequently shuffled by DNase I digestion and PCR assembly for generation of recombinants with additional increases in luciferase activity in bacteria. The coding sequence of the best recombinant, called eluxAB, was then optimized further to conform to Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana codon usage. A plant expression vector of the final, optimized eluxAB gene (opt-eluxAB was constructed and transformed into protoplasts of Arabidopsis and maize (Zea mays. Luciferase activity was dramatically increased for opt-eluxAB compared to the original luxAB in Arabidopsis and maize cells. The opt-eluxAB driven by two copies of the 35S promoter expresses significantly higher than that driven by a single copy. These results indicate that the eluxAB gene can be used as a reporter in plant protoplasts. To our knowledge, this is the first report to engineer the bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens luciferase luxAB as a reporter by directed evolution which paved the way for further improving the luxAB reporter in the future.

  18. The next step in gene delivery: molecular engineering of adeno-associated virus serotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinhui; Faust, Susan M; Rabinowitz, Joseph E

    2011-05-01

    Delivery is at the heart of gene therapy. Viral DNA delivery systems are asked to avoid the immune system, transduce specific target cell types while avoiding other cell types, infect dividing and non-dividing cells, insert their cargo within the host genome without mutagenesis or to remain episomal, and efficiently express transgenes for a substantial portion of a lifespan. These sought-after features cannot be associated with a single delivery system, or can they? The Adeno-associated virus family of gene delivery vehicles has proven to be highly malleable. Pseudotyping, using AAV serotype 2 terminal repeats to generate designer shells capable of transducing selected cell types, enables the packaging of common genomes into multiple serotypes virions to directly compare gene expression and tropism. In this review the ability to manipulate this virus will be examined from the inside out. The influence of host cell factors and organism biology including the immune response on the molecular fate of the viral genome will be discussed as well as differences in cellular trafficking patterns and uncoating properties that influence serotype transduction. Re-engineering the prototype vector AAV2 using epitope insertion, chemical modification, and molecular evolution not only demonstrated the flexibility of the best-studied serotype, but now also expanded the tool kit for molecular modification of all AAV serotypes. Current AAV research has changed its focus from examination of wild-type AAV biology to the feedback of host cell/organism on the design and development of a new generation of recombinant AAV delivery vehicles. This article is part of a Special Section entitled "Special Section: Cardiovascular Gene Therapy". Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. [Effect of gene optimization on the expression and purification of HDV small antigen produced by genetic engineering].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jun-Ying; Meng, Qing-Ling; Guo, Min-Zhuo; Yi, Yao; Su, Qiu-Dong; Lu, Xue-Xin; Qiu, Feng; Bi, Sheng-Li

    2012-10-01

    To study the effect of gene optimization on the expression and purification of HDV small antigen produced by genetic engineering. Based on the colon preference of E. coli, the HDV small antigen original gene from GenBank was optimized. Both the original gene and the optimized gene expressed in prokaryotic cells, SDS-PAGE was made to analyze the protein expression yield and to decide which protein expression style was more proportion than the other. Furthermore, two antigens were purified by chromatography in order to compare the purity by SDS-PAGE and Image Lab software. SDS-PAGE indicated that the molecular weight of target proteins from two groups were the same as we expected. Gene optimization resulted in the higher yield and it could make the product more soluble. After chromatography, the purity of target protein from optimized gene was up to 96.3%, obviously purer than that from original gene. Gene optimization could increase the protein expression yield and solubility of genetic engineering HDV small antigen. In addition, the product from the optimized gene group was easier to be purified for diagnosis usage.

  20. Genetically Engineering Entomopathogenic Fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, H; Lovett, B; Fang, W

    2016-01-01

    Entomopathogenic fungi have been developed as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides in biocontrol programs for agricultural pests and vectors of disease. However, mycoinsecticides currently have a small market share due to low virulence and inconsistencies in their performance. Genetic engineering has made it possible to significantly improve the virulence of fungi and their tolerance to adverse conditions. Virulence enhancement has been achieved by engineering fungi to express insect proteins and insecticidal proteins/peptides from insect predators and other insect pathogens, or by overexpressing the pathogen's own genes. Importantly, protein engineering can be used to mix and match functional domains from diverse genes sourced from entomopathogenic fungi and other organisms, producing insecticidal proteins with novel characteristics. Fungal tolerance to abiotic stresses, especially UV radiation, has been greatly improved by introducing into entomopathogens a photoreactivation system from an archaean and pigment synthesis pathways from nonentomopathogenic fungi. Conversely, gene knockout strategies have produced strains with reduced ecological fitness as recipients for genetic engineering to improve virulence; the resulting strains are hypervirulent, but will not persist in the environment. Coupled with their natural insect specificity, safety concerns can also be mitigated by using safe effector proteins with selection marker genes removed after transformation. With the increasing public concern over the continued use of synthetic chemical insecticides and growing public acceptance of genetically modified organisms, new types of biological insecticides produced by genetic engineering offer a range of environmentally friendly options for cost-effective control of insect pests. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Synthetic Rutile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burastero, J.

    1975-01-01

    This work is about the laboratory scale investigation of the conditions in the rutile synthetic production from one me nita in Aguas Dulces reservoir. The iron mineral is chlorinated and volatilized selectively leaving a residue enriched in titanium dioxide which can be used as a substitute of rutile mineral

  2. Genetically engineered Rice with transcription factor DREB genes for abiotic stress tolerance(abstract)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Datta, S.K.; Datta, K.

    2005-01-01

    Water stress (drought and Salinity) is the most severe limitation to rice productivity. Several breeding approaches (MAS, QTL) applied to suitable genotypes are in place at IRRI and elsewhere. Phenotyping of water stress tolerance is in progress with potential predictability. Dr. Shinozaki's group has cloned a number of transcription factor genes, which have been shown to work in Arabidopsis to achieve drought, cold, and salinity tolerant plants. None of these genes have as yet displayed their potential functioning in rice. Genetic engineering aims at cross talk between different stress signaling pathways leading to stress tolerance. Osmotic Adjustment (OA) is an effective component of abiotic stress (drought and salinity) tolerance in many plants including rice. When plant experiences water stress, OA contributes to turgor maintenance of both shoots and roots. Conventional breeding could not achieve the OA in rice excepting a few rice cultivars, which are partially adapted to water-stress conditions. Several stress-related genes have now been cloned and transferred in to enhance the osmolytes and some transgenic lines showed increased tolerance to osmotic stress. A few strategies could be effectively deployed for a better understanding of water-stress tolerance in rice and to develop transgenic rice, which can survive for a critical period of water-stress conditions: 1) Switching on of transcription factor regulating the expression of several genes related to abiotic stress, 2) Use of a suitable stress inducible promoter driving the target gene for an efficient and directed expression in plants, 3) Understanding of phenotyping and GxE in a given environment, 4) Selection of a few adaptive rice cultivars suitable in drought/salinity prone areas, 5) Microarray, proteomics, QTL and MAS may expedite the cloning and characterizing the stress induced genes, and 6) Finally, the efficient transformation system for generating a large number of transgenic rice of different

  3. A Powerful Toolkit for Synthetic Biology: Over 3.8 Billion Years of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2010-01-01

    The combination of evolutionary with engineering principles will enhance synthetic biology. Conversely, synthetic biology has the potential to enrich evolutionary biology by explaining why some adaptive space is empty, on Earth or elsewhere. Synthetic biology, the design and construction of artificial biological systems, substitutes bio-engineering for evolution, which is seen as an obstacle. But because evolution has produced the complexity and diversity of life, it provides a proven toolkit of genetic materials and principles available to synthetic biology. Evolution operates on the population level, with the populations composed of unique individuals that are historical entities. The source of genetic novelty includes mutation, gene regulation, sex, symbiosis, and interspecies gene transfer. At a phenotypic level, variation derives from regulatory control, replication and diversification of components, compartmentalization, sexual selection and speciation, among others. Variation is limited by physical constraints such as diffusion, and chemical constraints such as reaction rates and membrane fluidity. While some of these tools of evolution are currently in use in synthetic biology, all ought to be examined for utility. A hybrid approach of synthetic biology coupled with fine-tuning through evolution is suggested

  4. GEMINI: a computationally-efficient search engine for large gene expression datasets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFreitas, Timothy; Saddiki, Hachem; Flaherty, Patrick

    2016-02-24

    Low-cost DNA sequencing allows organizations to accumulate massive amounts of genomic data and use that data to answer a diverse range of research questions. Presently, users must search for relevant genomic data using a keyword, accession number of meta-data tag. However, in this search paradigm the form of the query - a text-based string - is mismatched with the form of the target - a genomic profile. To improve access to massive genomic data resources, we have developed a fast search engine, GEMINI, that uses a genomic profile as a query to search for similar genomic profiles. GEMINI implements a nearest-neighbor search algorithm using a vantage-point tree to store a database of n profiles and in certain circumstances achieves an [Formula: see text] expected query time in the limit. We tested GEMINI on breast and ovarian cancer gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas project and show that it achieves a query time that scales as the logarithm of the number of records in practice on genomic data. In a database with 10(5) samples, GEMINI identifies the nearest neighbor in 0.05 sec compared to a brute force search time of 0.6 sec. GEMINI is a fast search engine that uses a query genomic profile to search for similar profiles in a very large genomic database. It enables users to identify similar profiles independent of sample label, data origin or other meta-data information.

  5. [Research-oriented experimental course of plant cell and gene engineering for undergraduates].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaofei, Lin; Rong, Zheng; Morigen, Morigen

    2015-04-01

    Research-oriented comprehensive experimental course for undergraduates is an important part for their training of innovation. We established an optional course of plant cell and gene engineering for undergraduates using our research platform. The course is designed to study the cellular and molecular basis and experimental techniques for plant tissue culture, isolation and culture of protoplast, genetic transformation, and screening and identification of transgenic plants. To develop undergraduates' ability in experimental design and operation, and inspire their interest in scientific research and innovation consciousness, we integrated experimental teaching and practice in plant genetic engineering on the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels. Students in the course practiced an experimental teaching model featured by two-week teaching of principles, independent experimental design and bench work, and ready-to-access laboratory. In this paper, we describe the contents, methods, evaluation system and a few issues to be solved in this course, as well as the general application and significance of the research-oriented experimental course in reforming undergraduates' teaching and training innovative talents.

  6. Suicide Gene-Engineered Stromal Cells Reveal a Dynamic Regulation of Cancer Metastasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Keyue; Luk, Samantha; Elman, Jessica; Murray, Ryan; Mukundan, Shilpaa; Parekkadan, Biju

    2016-02-01

    Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a major cancer-promoting component in the tumor microenvironment (TME). The dynamic role of human CAFs in cancer progression has been ill-defined because human CAFs lack a unique marker needed for a cell-specific, promoter-driven knockout model. Here, we developed an engineered human CAF cell line with an inducible suicide gene to enable selective in vivo elimination of human CAFs at different stages of xenograft tumor development, effectively circumventing the challenge of targeting a cell-specific marker. Suicide-engineered CAFs were highly sensitive to apoptosis induction in vitro and in vivo by the addition of a simple small molecule inducer. Selection of timepoints for targeted CAF apoptosis in vivo during the progression of a human breast cancer xenograft model was guided by a bi-phasic host cytokine response that peaked at early timepoints after tumor implantation. Remarkably, we observed that the selective apoptosis of CAFs at these early timepoints did not affect primary tumor growth, but instead increased the presence of tumor-associated macrophages and the metastatic spread of breast cancer cells to the lung and bone. The study revealed a dynamic relationship between CAFs and cancer metastasis that has counter-intuitive ramifications for CAF-targeted therapy.

  7. Use Of Low Light Image Microscopy To Monitor Genetically Engineered Bacterial Luciferase Gene Expression In Living Cells And Gene Activation Throughout The Development Of A Transgenic Organism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langridge, W. H.; Escher, Alan P.; Baga, M.; O'Kane, Dennis J.; Wampler, John E.; Koncz, C.; Schell, John D.; Szalay, A. A.

    1989-12-01

    Procaryotic and eucaryotic expression vectors which contain a marker gene for selection of transformants linked to genes encoding bacterial luciferase for detection of promoter activated gene expression in vivo were used to transform the appropriate host organisms and drug resistant colonies, cells, or calli were obtained. Bacterial luciferase expression was measured by a luminescence assay for quantitative determination of promoter activation. The cellular localization of bacteria inside the host plant cell cytoplasm was achieved in a single infected plant cell based on the light emitting ability of the genetically engineered bacteria. In addition, the bacterial luciferase marker gene fusions were used to monitor cell type, tissue, and organ specific gene expression in transgenic plants in vivo. To monitor physiological changes during ontogeny of a transformed plant, low light video microscopy, aided by real time image processing techniques developed specifically to enhance extreme low light images, was successfully applied.

  8. Yeast homologous recombination-based promoter engineering for the activation of silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montiel, Daniel; Kang, Hahk-Soo; Chang, Fang-Yuan; Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Brady, Sean F

    2015-07-21

    Large-scale sequencing of prokaryotic (meta)genomic DNA suggests that most bacterial natural product gene clusters are not expressed under common laboratory culture conditions. Silent gene clusters represent a promising resource for natural product discovery and the development of a new generation of therapeutics. Unfortunately, the characterization of molecules encoded by these clusters is hampered owing to our inability to express these gene clusters in the laboratory. To address this bottleneck, we have developed a promoter-engineering platform to transcriptionally activate silent gene clusters in a model heterologous host. Our approach uses yeast homologous recombination, an auxotrophy complementation-based yeast selection system and sequence orthogonal promoter cassettes to exchange all native promoters in silent gene clusters with constitutively active promoters. As part of this platform, we constructed and validated a set of bidirectional promoter cassettes consisting of orthogonal promoter sequences, Streptomyces ribosome binding sites, and yeast selectable marker genes. Using these tools we demonstrate the ability to simultaneously insert multiple promoter cassettes into a gene cluster, thereby expediting the reengineering process. We apply this method to model active and silent gene clusters (rebeccamycin and tetarimycin) and to the silent, cryptic pseudogene-containing, environmental DNA-derived Lzr gene cluster. Complete promoter refactoring and targeted gene exchange in this "dead" cluster led to the discovery of potent indolotryptoline antiproliferative agents, lazarimides A and B. This potentially scalable and cost-effective promoter reengineering platform should streamline the discovery of natural products from silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

  9. A New Synthetic Compound, 2-OH, Enhances Interleukin-2 and Interferon-γ Gene Expression in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woan-Fang Tzeng

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available A new synthetic compound, 6-hydroxy-2-tosylisoquinolin-1(2H-one (2-OH, was selected for immunopharmacological activity tests. The effects of 2-OH on human peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC proliferation were determined by tritiated thymidine uptake. Compared to phytohemagglutinin (PHA; 5 μg/mL stimulation, 2-OH significantly enhanced PBMC proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. The 50% enhancement activity (EC50 for 2-OH was 4.4±0.1 μM. In addition, effects of 2-OH on interleukin-2 (IL-2 and interferon-γ (IFN-γ production in PBMC were determined by enzyme immunoassay. Results demonstrated that 2-OH stimulated IL-2 and IFN-γ production in PBMC. Data from reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR and real-time PCR indicated that IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA expression in PBMC could be induced by 2-OH. Therefore, 2-OH enhanced IL-2 and IFN-γ production in PBMC by modulation their gene expression. We suggest that 2-OH may be an immunomodulatory agent.

  10. Synthetic biology devices for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slomovic, Shimyn; Pardee, Keith; Collins, James J

    2015-11-24

    There is a growing need to enhance our capabilities in medical and environmental diagnostics. Synthetic biologists have begun to focus their biomolecular engineering approaches toward this goal, offering promising results that could lead to the development of new classes of inexpensive, rapidly deployable diagnostics. Many conventional diagnostics rely on antibody-based platforms that, although exquisitely sensitive, are slow and costly to generate and cannot readily confront rapidly emerging pathogens or be applied to orphan diseases. Synthetic biology, with its rational and short design-to-production cycles, has the potential to overcome many of these limitations. Synthetic biology devices, such as engineered gene circuits, bring new capabilities to molecular diagnostics, expanding the molecular detection palette, creating dynamic sensors, and untethering reactions from laboratory equipment. The field is also beginning to move toward in vivo diagnostics, which could provide near real-time surveillance of multiple pathological conditions. Here, we describe current efforts in synthetic biology, focusing on the translation of promising technologies into pragmatic diagnostic tools and platforms.

  11. Standardization in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Kristian M; Arndt, Katja M

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is founded on the idea that complex biological systems are built most effectively when the task is divided in abstracted layers and all required components are readily available and well-described. This requires interdisciplinary collaboration at several levels and a common understanding of the functioning of each component. Standardization of the physical composition and the description of each part is required as well as a controlled vocabulary to aid design and ensure interoperability. Here, we describe standardization initiatives from several disciplines, which can contribute to Synthetic Biology. We provide examples of the concerted standardization efforts of the BioBricks Foundation comprising the request for comments (RFC) and the Registry of Standardized Biological parts as well as the international Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition.

  12. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  13. Promoter engineering of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RIM15 gene for improvement of alcoholic fermentation rates under stress conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Daisuke; Kaneko, Akie; Sugimoto, Yukiko; Ohnuki, Shinsuke; Takagi, Hiroshi; Ohya, Yoshikazu

    2017-02-01

    A loss-of-function mutation in the RIM15 gene, which encodes a Greatwall-like protein kinase, is one of the major causes of the high alcoholic fermentation rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae sake strains closely related to Kyokai no. 7 (K7). However, impairment of Rim15p may not be beneficial under more severe fermentation conditions, such as in the late fermentation stage, as it negatively affects stress responses. To balance stress tolerance and fermentation performance, we inserted the promoter of a gluconeogenic gene, PCK1, into the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of the RIM15 gene in a laboratory strain to achieve repression of RIM15 gene expression in the glucose-rich early stage with its induction in the stressful late stage of alcoholic fermentation. The promoter-engineered strain exhibited a fermentation rate comparable to that of the RIM15-deleted strain with no decrease in cell viability. The engineered strain achieved better alcoholic fermentation performance than the RIM15-deleted strain under repetitive and high-glucose fermentation conditions. These data demonstrated the validity of promoter engineering of the RIM15 gene that governs inhibitory control of alcoholic fermentation. Copyright © 2016 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Quantifying engineered nanomaterial toxicity: comparison of common cytotoxicity and gene expression measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donald H. Atha

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background When evaluating the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMS it is important to use multiple bioassays based on different mechanisms of action. In this regard we evaluated the use of gene expression and common cytotoxicity measurements using as test materials, two selected nanoparticles with known differences in toxicity, 5 nm mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA-capped InP and CdSe quantum dots (QDs. We tested the effects of these QDs at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 160 µg/mL on cultured normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE cells using four common cytotoxicity assays: the dichlorofluorescein assay for reactive oxygen species (ROS, the lactate dehydrogenase assay for membrane viability (LDH, the mitochondrial dehydrogenase assay for mitochondrial function, and the Comet assay for DNA strand breaks. Results The cytotoxicity assays showed similar trends when exposed to nanoparticles for 24 h at 80 µg/mL with a threefold increase in ROS with exposure to CdSe QDs compared to an insignificant change in ROS levels after exposure to InP QDs, a twofold increase in the LDH necrosis assay in NHBE cells with exposure to CdSe QDs compared to a 50% decrease for InP QDs, a 60% decrease in the mitochondrial function assay upon exposure to CdSe QDs compared to a minimal increase in the case of InP and significant DNA strand breaks after exposure to CdSe QDs compared to no significant DNA strand breaks with InP. High-throughput quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR data for cells exposed for 6 h at a concentration of 80 µg/mL were consistent with the cytotoxicity assays showing major differences in DNA damage, DNA repair and mitochondrial function gene regulatory responses to the CdSe and InP QDs. The BRCA2, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CDK1, SFN and VEGFA genes were observed to be upregulated specifically from increased CdSe exposure and suggests their possible utility as biomarkers for toxicity. Conclusions This study can

  15. Quantifying engineered nanomaterial toxicity: comparison of common cytotoxicity and gene expression measurements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atha, Donald H; Nagy, Amber; Steinbrück, Andrea; Dennis, Allison M; Hollingsworth, Jennifer A; Dua, Varsha; Iyer, Rashi; Nelson, Bryant C

    2017-11-09

    When evaluating the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMS) it is important to use multiple bioassays based on different mechanisms of action. In this regard we evaluated the use of gene expression and common cytotoxicity measurements using as test materials, two selected nanoparticles with known differences in toxicity, 5 nm mercaptoundecanoic acid (MUA)-capped InP and CdSe quantum dots (QDs). We tested the effects of these QDs at concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 160 µg/mL on cultured normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells using four common cytotoxicity assays: the dichlorofluorescein assay for reactive oxygen species (ROS), the lactate dehydrogenase assay for membrane viability (LDH), the mitochondrial dehydrogenase assay for mitochondrial function, and the Comet assay for DNA strand breaks. The cytotoxicity assays showed similar trends when exposed to nanoparticles for 24 h at 80 µg/mL with a threefold increase in ROS with exposure to CdSe QDs compared to an insignificant change in ROS levels after exposure to InP QDs, a twofold increase in the LDH necrosis assay in NHBE cells with exposure to CdSe QDs compared to a 50% decrease for InP QDs, a 60% decrease in the mitochondrial function assay upon exposure to CdSe QDs compared to a minimal increase in the case of InP and significant DNA strand breaks after exposure to CdSe QDs compared to no significant DNA strand breaks with InP. High-throughput quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) data for cells exposed for 6 h at a concentration of 80 µg/mL were consistent with the cytotoxicity assays showing major differences in DNA damage, DNA repair and mitochondrial function gene regulatory responses to the CdSe and InP QDs. The BRCA2, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CDK1, SFN and VEGFA genes were observed to be upregulated specifically from increased CdSe exposure and suggests their possible utility as biomarkers for toxicity. This study can serve as a model for comparing traditional

  16. How to turn a genetic circuit into a synthetic tunable oscillator, or a bistable switch.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Marucci

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Systems and Synthetic Biology use computational models of biological pathways in order to study in silico the behaviour of biological pathways. Mathematical models allow to verify biological hypotheses and to predict new possible dynamical behaviours. Here we use the tools of non-linear analysis to understand how to change the dynamics of the genes composing a novel synthetic network recently constructed in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae for In-vivo Reverse-engineering and Modelling Assessment (IRMA. Guided by previous theoretical results that make the dynamics of a biological network depend on its topological properties, through the use of simulation and continuation techniques, we found that the network can be easily turned into a robust and tunable synthetic oscillator or a bistable switch. Our results provide guidelines to properly re-engineering in vivo the network in order to tune its dynamics.

  17. Engineer Ethics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Dae Sik; Kim, Yeong Pil; Kim, Yeong Jin

    2003-03-15

    This book tells of engineer ethics such as basic understanding of engineer ethics with history of engineering as a occupation, definition of engineering and specialized job and engineering, engineer ethics as professional ethics, general principles of ethics and its limitation, ethical theory and application, technique to solve the ethical problems, responsibility, safety and danger, information engineer ethics, biotechnological ethics like artificial insemination, life reproduction, gene therapy and environmental ethics.

  18. Engineer Ethics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Dae Sik; Kim, Yeong Pil; Kim, Yeong Jin

    2003-03-01

    This book tells of engineer ethics such as basic understanding of engineer ethics with history of engineering as a occupation, definition of engineering and specialized job and engineering, engineer ethics as professional ethics, general principles of ethics and its limitation, ethical theory and application, technique to solve the ethical problems, responsibility, safety and danger, information engineer ethics, biotechnological ethics like artificial insemination, life reproduction, gene therapy and environmental ethics.

  19. A gene stacking approach leads to engineered plants with highly increased galactan levels in Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gondolf, Vibe M; Stoppel, Rhea; Ebert, Berit; Rautengarten, Carsten; Liwanag, April Jm; Loqué, Dominique; Scheller, Henrik V

    2014-12-10

    on plant growth and development and hence on the overall biomass amount. Thus, we could show that the gene stacking approach described here is a promising method to engineer advanced feedstocks for biofuel production.

  20. Design and Development of Synthetic Microbial Platform Cells for Bioenergy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Jun eLee

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The finite reservation of fossil fuels accelerates the necessity of development of renewable energy sources. Recent advances in synthetic biology encompassing systems biology and metabolic engineering enable us to engineer and/or create tailor made microorganisms to produce alternative biofuels for the future bio-era. For the efficient transformation of biomass to bioenergy, microbial cells need to be designed and engineered to maximize the performance of cellular metabolisms for the production of biofuels during energy flow. Toward this end, two different conceptual approaches have been applied for the development of platform cell factories: forward minimization and reverse engineering. From the context of naturally minimized genomes, non-essential energy-consuming pathways and/or related gene clusters could be progressively deleted to optimize cellular energy status for bioenergy production. Alternatively, incorporation of non-indigenous parts and/or modules including biomass degrading enzymes, carbon uptake transporters, photosynthesis, CO2 fixation, and etc. into chassis microorganisms allows the platform cells to gain novel metabolic functions for bioenergy. This review focuses on the current progress in synthetic biology-aided pathway engineering in microbial cells and discusses its impact on the production of sustainable bioenergy.

  1. Steps towards the synthetic biology of polyketide biosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Matthew; Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2014-01-01

    Nature is providing a bountiful pool of valuable secondary metabolites, many of which possess therapeutic properties. However, the discovery of new bioactive secondary metabolites is slowing down, at a time when the rise of multidrug-resistant pathogens and the realization of acute and long-term side effects of widely used drugs lead to an urgent need for new therapeutic agents. Approaches such as synthetic biology are promising to deliver a much-needed boost to secondary metabolite drug development through plug-and-play optimized hosts and refactoring novel or cryptic bacterial gene clusters. Here, we discuss this prospect focusing on one comprehensively studied class of clinically relevant bioactive molecules, the polyketides. Extensive efforts towards optimization and derivatization of compounds via combinatorial biosynthesis and classical engineering have elucidated the modularity, flexibility and promiscuity of polyketide biosynthetic enzymes. Hence, a synthetic biology approach can build upon a solid basis of guidelines and principles, while providing a new perspective towards the discovery and generation of novel and new-to-nature compounds. We discuss the lessons learned from the classical engineering of polyketide synthases and indicate their importance when attempting to engineer biosynthetic pathways using synthetic biology approaches for the introduction of novelty and overexpression of products in a controllable manner. PMID:24372666

  2. Synthetic Core Promoters as Universal Parts for Fine-Tuning Expression in Different Yeast Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portela, Rui M C; Vogl, Thomas; Kniely, Claudia; Fischer, Jasmin E; Oliveira, Rui; Glieder, Anton

    2017-03-17

    Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering experiments frequently require the fine-tuning of gene expression to balance and optimize protein levels of regulators or metabolic enzymes. A key concept of synthetic biology is the development of modular parts that can be used in different contexts. Here, we have applied a computational multifactor design approach to generate de novo synthetic core promoters and 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) for yeast cells. In contrast to upstream cis-regulatory modules (CRMs), core promoters are typically not subject to specific regulation, making them ideal engineering targets for gene expression fine-tuning. 112 synthetic core promoter sequences were designed on the basis of the sequence/function relationship of natural core promoters, nucleosome occupancy and the presence of short motifs. The synthetic core promoters were fused to the Pichia pastoris AOX1 CRM, and the resulting activity spanned more than a 200-fold range (0.3% to 70.6% of the wild type AOX1 level). The top-ten synthetic core promoters with highest activity were fused to six additional CRMs (three in P. pastoris and three in Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Inducible CRM constructs showed significantly higher activity than constitutive CRMs, reaching up to 176% of natural core promoters. Comparing the activity of the same synthetic core promoters fused to different CRMs revealed high correlations only for CRMs within the same organism. These data suggest that modularity is maintained to some extent but only within the same organism. Due to the conserved role of eukaryotic core promoters, this rational design concept may be transferred to other organisms as a generic engineering tool.

  3. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  4. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  5. Inspection Data for Spark Ignition Engines from Air Force Nontactical Vehicles (MEEP Project H79-1C, Synthetic Oils). Volume 1. Technical Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    in Support of Evaluation of Synthetic Lubricants in Nontactical Vehicles, Contract No. F33615-79-C-5159 by Anna F. Stulsas and John D. Tosh , Energy...Station, Pensacola, Florida 32508, Attn: JOAP-TSC, to Southwest Research Institute, Mobile Energy Division, Attn: Mr. John D. Tosh , 6220 Culebra Road...LEM 1 ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL IL 61299 CDR U.S. ARMY BELVOIR RESEARCH AND CDR DEVELOPMENl CENTER US ARMY COLD REGION TEST CENTER ATTN: STRBE-VF 10 ATTN

  6. Synthetic Cannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Brooke; Yepes, Andres; Nugent, Kenneth

    2015-07-01

    Synthetic cannabinoids (SCBs), also known under the brand names of "Spice," "K2," "herbal incense," "Cloud 9," "Mojo" and many others, are becoming a large public health concern due not only to their increasing use but also to their unpredictable toxicity and abuse potential. There are many types of SCBs, each having a unique binding affinity for cannabinoid receptors. Although both Δ-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and SCBs stimulate the same receptors, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), studies have shown that SCBs are associated with higher rates of toxicity and hospital admissions than is natural cannabis. This is likely due to SCBs being direct agonists of the cannabinoid receptors, whereas THC is a partial agonist. Furthermore, the different chemical structures of SCBs found in Spice or K2 may interact in unpredictable ways to elicit previously unknown, and the commercial products may have unknown contaminants. The largest group of users is men in their 20s who participate in polydrug use. The most common reported toxicities with SCB use based on studies using Texas Poison Control records are tachycardia, agitation and irritability, drowsiness, hallucinations, delusions, hypertension, nausea, confusion, dizziness, vertigo and chest pain. Acute kidney injury has also been strongly associated with SCB use. Treatment mostly involves symptom management and supportive care. More research is needed to identify which contaminants are typically found in synthetic marijuana and to understand the interactions between different SBCs to better predict adverse health outcomes.

  7. Alcohol dehydrogenase gene ADH3 activates glucose alcoholic fermentation in genetically engineered Dekkera bruxellensis yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schifferdecker, Anna Judith; Siurkus, Juozas; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Joerck-Ramberg, Dorte; Ling, Zhihao; Zhou, Nerve; Blevins, James E; Sibirny, Andriy A; Piškur, Jure; Ishchuk, Olena P

    2016-04-01

    Dekkera bruxellensis is a non-conventional Crabtree-positive yeast with a good ethanol production capability. Compared to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, its tolerance to acidic pH and its utilization of alternative carbon sources make it a promising organism for producing biofuel. In this study, we developed an auxotrophic transformation system and an expression vector, which enabled the manipulation of D. bruxellensis, thereby improving its fermentative performance. Its gene ADH3, coding for alcohol dehydrogenase, was cloned and overexpressed under the control of the strong and constitutive promoter TEF1. Our recombinant D. bruxellensis strain displayed 1.4 and 1.7 times faster specific glucose consumption rate during aerobic and anaerobic glucose fermentations, respectively; it yielded 1.2 times and 1.5 times more ethanol than did the parental strain under aerobic and anaerobic conditions, respectively. The overexpression of ADH3 in D. bruxellensis also reduced the inhibition of fermentation by anaerobiosis, the "Custer effect". Thus, the fermentative capacity of D. bruxellensis could be further improved by metabolic engineering.

  8. Genetically engineered cardiac pacemaker: Stem cells transfected with HCN2 gene and myocytes-A model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kanani, S. [Institut Genomique Fonctionelle, 141 Rue de la Cardonille, 34396 Montpellier (France); Institut Non Lineaire de Nice, CNRS and Universite de Nice, 1361 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne (France); Pumir, A. [Institut Non Lineaire de Nice, CNRS and Universite de Nice, 1361 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne (France); Laboratoire J.A. Dieudonne, CNRS and Universite de Nice, Parc Valrose, 06108 Nice (France)], E-mail: alain.pumir@unice.fr; Krinsky, V. [Institut Non Lineaire de Nice, CNRS and Universite de Nice, 1361 route des Lucioles, 06560 Valbonne (France)

    2008-01-07

    One of the successfully tested methods to design genetically engineered cardiac pacemaker cells consists in transfecting a human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) with a HCN2 gene and connecting it to a myocyte. We develop and study a mathematical model, describing a myocyte connected to a hMSC transfected with a HCN2 gene. The cardiac action potential is described both with the simple Beeler-Reuter model, as well as with the elaborate dynamic Luo-Rudy model. The HCN2 channel is described by fitting electrophysiological records, in the spirit of Hodgkin-Huxley. The model shows that oscillations can occur in a pair myocyte-stem cell, that was not observed in the experiments yet. The model predicted that: (1) HCN pacemaker channels can induce oscillations only if the number of expressed I{sub K1} channels is low enough. At too high an expression level of I{sub K1} channels, oscillations cannot be induced, no matter how many pacemaker channels are expressed. (2) At low expression levels of I{sub K1} channels, a large domain of values in the parameter space (n, N) exists, where oscillations should be observed. We denote N the number of expressed pacemaker channels in the stem cell, and n the number of gap junction channels coupling the stem cell and the myocyte. (3) The expression levels of I{sub K1} channels observed in ventricular myocytes, both in the Beeler-Reuter and in the dynamic Luo-Rudy models are too high to allow to observe oscillations. With expression levels below {approx}1/4 of the original value, oscillations can be observed. The main consequence of this work is that in order to obtain oscillations in an experiment with a myocyte-stem cell pair, increasing the values of n, N is unlikely to be helpful, unless the expression level of I{sub K1} has been reduced enough. The model also allows us to explore levels of gene expression not yet achieved in experiments, and could be useful to plan new experiments, aimed at improving the robustness of the oscillations.

  9. Insights gained from the reverse engineering of gene networks in keloid fibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phan Toan

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Keloids are protrusive claw-like scars that have a propensity to recur even after surgery, and its molecular etiology remains elusive. The goal of reverse engineering is to infer gene networks from observational data, thus providing insight into the inner workings of a cell. However, most attempts at modeling biological networks have been done using simulated data. This study aims to highlight some of the issues involved in working with experimental data, and at the same time gain some insights into the transcriptional regulatory mechanism present in keloid fibroblasts. Methods Microarray data from our previous study was combined with microarray data obtained from the literature as well as new microarray data generated by our group. For the physical approach, we used the fREDUCE algorithm for correlating expression values to binding motifs. For the influence approach, we compared the Bayesian algorithm BANJO with the information theoretic method ARACNE in terms of performance in recovering known influence networks obtained from the KEGG database. In addition, we also compared the performance of different normalization methods as well as different types of gene networks. Results Using the physical approach, we found consensus sequences that were active in the keloid condition, as well as some sequences that were responsive to steroids, a commonly used treatment for keloids. From the influence approach, we found that BANJO was better at recovering the gene networks compared to ARACNE and that transcriptional networks were better suited for network recovery compared to cytokine-receptor interaction networks and intracellular signaling networks. We also found that the NFKB transcriptional network that was inferred from normal fibroblast data was more accurate compared to that inferred from keloid data, suggesting a more robust network in the keloid condition. Conclusions Consensus sequences that were found from this study are

  10. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for ethanol production without foreign genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Youngnyun

    Worldwide dependence on finite petroleum-based energy necessitates alternative energy sources that can be produced from renewable resources. A successful example of an alternative transportation fuel is bioethanol, produced by microorganisms, from corn starch that is blended with gasoline. However, corn, currently the main feedstock for bioethanol production, also occupies a significant role in human food and animal feed chains. As more corn is diverted to bioethanol, the cost of corn is expected to increase with an increase in the price of food, feed and ethanol. Using lignocellulosic biomass for ethanol production is considered to resolve this problem. However, this requires a microbial biocatalyst that can ferment hexoses and pentoses to ethanol. Escherichia coli is an efficient biocatalyst that can use all the monomeric sugars in lignocellulose, and recombinant derivatives of E. coli have been engineered to produce ethanol as the major fermentation product. In my study, ethanologenic E. coli strains were isolated from a ldhA-, pflB- derivative without introduction of foreign genes. These isolates grew anaerobically and produced ethanol as the main fermentation product. The mutation responsible for anaerobic growth and ethanol production was mapped in the lpdA gene and the mutation was identified as E354K in three of the isolates tested. Another three isolates carried an lpdA mutation, H352Y. Enzyme kinetic studies revealed that the mutated form of the dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (LPD) encoded by the lpdA was significantly less sensitive to NADH inhibition than the native LPD. This reduced NADH sensitivity of the mutated LPD was translated into lower sensitivity to NADH of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in strain SE2378. The net yield of 4 moles of NADH and 2 moles of acetyl-CoA per mole of glucose produced by a combination of glycolysis and PDH provided a logical basis to explain the production of 2 moles of ethanol per glucose. The development of E

  11. Synthetic Plant Defense Elicitors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasemin eBektas

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available To defend themselves against invading pathogens plants utilize a complex regulatory network that coordinates extensive transcriptional and metabolic reprogramming. Although many of the key players of this immunity-associated network are known, the details of its topology and dynamics are still poorly understood. As an alternative to forward and reverse genetic studies, chemical genetics-related approaches based on bioactive small molecules have gained substantial popularity in the analysis of biological pathways and networks. Use of such molecular probes can allow researchers to access biological space that was previously inaccessible to genetic analyses due to gene redundancy or lethality of mutations. Synthetic elicitors are small drug like molecules that induce plant defense responses, but are distinct from known natural elicitors of plant immunity. While the discovery of the some synthetic elicitors had already been reported in the 1970s, recent breakthroughs in combinatorial chemical synthesis now allow for inexpensive high-throughput screens for bioactive plant defense-inducing compounds. Along with powerful reverse genetics tools and resources available for model plants and crop systems, comprehensive collections of new synthetic elicitors will likely allow plant scientists to study the intricacies of plant defense signaling pathways and networks in an unparalleled fashion. As synthetic elicitors can protect crops from diseases, without the need to be directly toxic for pathogenic organisms, they may also serve as promising alternatives to conventional biocidal pesticides, which often are harmful for the environment, farmers and consumers. Here we are discussing various types of synthetic elicitors that have been used for studies on the plant immune system, their modes-of-action as well as their application in crop protection.

  12. Synthetic Biology and Personalized Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task. PMID:22907209

  13. A parallel implementation of the network identification by multiple regression (NIR) algorithm to reverse-engineer regulatory gene networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregoretti, Francesco; Belcastro, Vincenzo; di Bernardo, Diego; Oliva, Gennaro

    2010-04-21

    The reverse engineering of gene regulatory networks using gene expression profile data has become crucial to gain novel biological knowledge. Large amounts of data that need to be analyzed are currently being produced due to advances in microarray technologies. Using current reverse engineering algorithms to analyze large data sets can be very computational-intensive. These emerging computational requirements can be met using parallel computing techniques. It has been shown that the Network Identification by multiple Regression (NIR) algorithm performs better than the other ready-to-use reverse engineering software. However it cannot be used with large networks with thousands of nodes--as is the case in biological networks--due to the high time and space complexity. In this work we overcome this limitation by designing and developing a parallel version of the NIR algorithm. The new implementation of the algorithm reaches a very good accuracy even for large gene networks, improving our understanding of the gene regulatory networks that is crucial for a wide range of biomedical applications.

  14. Synthetic biology: from mainstream to counterculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleator, Roy D

    2016-09-01

    Existing at the interface of science and engineering, synthetic biology represents a new and emerging field of mainstream biology. However, there also exists a counterculture of Do-It-Yourself biologists, citizen scientists, who have made significant inroads, particularly in the design and development of new tools and techniques. Herein, I review the development and convergence of synthetic biology's mainstream and countercultures.

  15. Synthetic biology: Emerging bioengineering in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhandono, Sony

    2017-05-01

    The development of synthetic biology will shape the new era of science and technology. It is an emerging bioengineering technique involving genetic engineering which can alter the phenotype and behavior of the cell or the new product. Synthetic biology may produce biomaterials, drugs, vaccines, biosensors, and even a recombinant secondary metabolite used in herbal and complementary medicine, such as artemisinin, a malaria drug which is usually extracted from the plant Artemisia annua. The power of synthetic biology has encouraged scientists in Indonesia, and is still in early development. This paper also covers some research from an Indonesian research institute in synthetic biology such as observing the production of bio surfactants and the enhanced production of artemisinin using a transient expression system. Synthetic biology development in Indonesia may also be related to the iGEM competition, a large synthetic biology research competition which was attended by several universities in Indonesia. The application of synthetic biology for drug discovery will be discussed.

  16. CRISPR and the Rebirth of Synthetic Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heidari, Raheleh; Shaw, David Martin; Elger, Bernice Simone

    Emergence of novel genome engineering technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) has refocused attention on unresolved ethical complications of synthetic biology. Biosecurity concerns, deontological issues and human right aspects of genome editing have

  17. Biotechnology and genetic engineering in the new drug development. Part II. Monoclonal antibodies, modern vaccines and gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stryjewska, Agnieszka; Kiepura, Katarzyna; Librowski, Tadeusz; Lochyński, Stanisław

    2013-01-01

    Monoclonal antibodies, modern vaccines and gene therapy have become a major field in modern biotechnology, especially in the area of human health and fascinating developments achieved in the past decades are impressive examples of an interdisciplinary interplay between medicine, biology and engineering. Among the classical products from cells one can find viral vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and interferons, as well as recombinant therapeutic proteins. Gene therapy opens up challenging new areas. In this review, a definitions of these processes are given and fields of application and products, as well as the future prospects, are discussed.

  18. Cancer cell-oriented migration of mesenchymal stem cells engineered with an anticancer gene (PTEN: an imaging demonstration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang ZS

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Zhuo-Shun Yang,1,* Xiang-Jun Tang,2,* Xing-Rong Guo,1 Dan-Dan Zou,1 Xu-Yong Sun,3 Jing-Bo Feng,1 Jie Luo,1 Long-Jun Dai,1,4 Garth L Warnock4 1Hubei Key Laboratory of Stem Cell Research, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Neurosurgery, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, People’s Republic of China; 3Guangxi Key Laboratory for Transplant Medicine, 303 Hospital of PLA, Nanning, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada *These authors contributed equally to this work Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs have been considered to hold great potential as ideal carriers for the delivery of anticancer agents since the discovery of their tumor tropism. This study was performed to demonstrate the effects of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN engineering on MSCs’ capacity for cancer cell-oriented migration. Methods: MSCs were engineered with a PTEN-bearing plasmid and the expression was confirmed with Western blotting. A human glioma cell line (DBTRG was used as the target cell; DBTRG cell-oriented migration of MSCs was monitored with a micro speed photographic system. Results: The expression of transfected PTEN in MSCs was identified by immunoblotting analysis and confirmed with cell viability assessment of target cells. The DBTRG cell-oriented migration of PTEN-engineered MSCs was demonstrated by a real-time dynamic monitoring system, and a phagocytosis-like action of MSCs was also observed. Conclusion: MSCs maintained their capacity for cancer cell-directed migration after they were engineered with anticancer genes. This study provides the first direct evidence of MSCs’ tropism post-anticancer gene engineering. Keywords: gene therapy, mesenchymal stem cells, phosphatase and tensin homolog, cancer

  19. Synthetic cannabinoids revealing adrenoleukodystrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellner, Avi; Benninger, Felix; Djaldetti, Ruth

    2016-02-01

    We report a 41-year-old man who presented with a first generalized tonic-clonic seizure after recent consumption of a synthetic cannabinoid. MRI showed extensive bilateral, mainly frontal, white matter lesions. Blood analysis for very long chain fatty acids was compatible with adrenoleukodystrophy, and a missense mutation in the ABCD1 gene confirmed the diagnosis. We hypothesize that cannabinoid use might have contributed to metabolic decompensation with subacute worsening of the underlying condition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. [Solid state isotope hydrogen exchange for deuterium and tritium in human gene-engineered insulin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolotarev, Yu A; Dadayan, A K; Kozik, V S; Gasanov, E V; Nazimov, I V; Ziganshin, R Kh; Vaskovsky, B V; Murashov, A N; Ksenofontov, A L; Haribin, O N; Nikolaev, E N; Myasoedov, N F

    2014-01-01

    The reaction of high temperature solid state catalytic isotope exchange in peptides and proteins under the action of catalyst-activated spillover hydrogen was studied. The reaction of human gene-engineered insulin with deuterium and tritium was conducted at 120-140° C to produce insulin samples containing 2-6 hydrogen isotope atoms. To determine the distribution of the isotope label over tritium-labeled insulin's amino acid residues, oxidation of the S-S bonds of insulin by performic acid was performed and polypeptide chains isolated; then their acid hydrolysis, amino acid analysis and liquid scintillation counts of tritium in the amino acids were conducted. The isotope label was shown to be incorporated in all amino acids of the protein, with the peptide fragment FVNQHLCGSHLVE of the insulin β-chain showing the largest incorporation. About 45% of the total protein isotope label was incorporated in His5 and His10 of this fragment. For the analysis of isotope label distribution in labeled insulin's peptide fragments, the recovery of the S-S bonds by mercaptoethanol, the enzymatic hydrolysis by glutamyl endopeptidase from Bacillus intermedius and HPLC division of the resulting peptides were carried out. Attribution of the peptide fragments formed due to hydrolysis at the Glu-X bond in the β-chain was accomplished by mass spectrometry. Mass spectrometry analysis data of the deuterium-labeled insulin samples' isotopomeric composition showed that the studied solid state isotope exchange reaction equally involved all the protein molecules. Biological studying of tritium-labeled insulin showed its physiological activity to be completely retained.

  1. Targeted genome regulation via synthetic programmable transcriptional regulators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piatek, Agnieszka; Mahfouz, Magdy M

    2017-06-01

    Regulation of gene transcription controls cellular functions and coordinates responses to developmental, physiological and environmental cues. Precise and efficient molecular tools are needed to characterize the functions of single and multiple genes in linear and interacting pathways in a native context. Modular DNA-binding domains from zinc fingers (ZFs) and transcriptional activator-like proteins (TALE) are amenable to bioengineering to bind DNA target sequences of interest. As a result, ZF and TALE proteins were used to develop synthetic programmable transcription factors. However, these systems are limited by the requirement to re-engineer proteins for each new target sequence. The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated 9 (Cas9) genome editing tool was recently repurposed for targeted transcriptional regulation by inactivation of the nuclease activity of Cas9. Due to the facile engineering, simplicity, precision and amenability to library construction, the CRISPR/Cas9 system is poised to revolutionize the functional genomics field across diverse eukaryotic species. In this review, we discuss the development of synthetic customizable transcriptional regulators and provide insights into their current and potential applications, with special emphasis on plant systems, in characterization of gene functions, elucidation of molecular mechanisms and their biotechnological applications.

  2. Targeted genome regulation via synthetic programmable transcriptional regulators

    KAUST Repository

    Piatek, Agnieszka Anna

    2016-04-19

    Regulation of gene transcription controls cellular functions and coordinates responses to developmental, physiological and environmental cues. Precise and efficient molecular tools are needed to characterize the functions of single and multiple genes in linear and interacting pathways in a native context. Modular DNA-binding domains from zinc fingers (ZFs) and transcriptional activator-like proteins (TALE) are amenable to bioengineering to bind DNA target sequences of interest. As a result, ZF and TALE proteins were used to develop synthetic programmable transcription factors. However, these systems are limited by the requirement to re-engineer proteins for each new target sequence. The clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR associated 9 (Cas9) genome editing tool was recently repurposed for targeted transcriptional regulation by inactivation of the nuclease activity of Cas9. Due to the facile engineering, simplicity, precision and amenability to library construction, the CRISPR/Cas9 system is poised to revolutionize the functional genomics field across diverse eukaryotic species. In this review, we discuss the development of synthetic customizable transcriptional regulators and provide insights into their current and potential applications, with special emphasis on plant systems, in characterization of gene functions, elucidation of molecular mechanisms and their biotechnological applications. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

  3. Space Synthetic Biology Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, David; Roman, Monsi; Mansell, James (Matt)

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an effort to make genetic engineering more useful by standardizing sections of genetic code. By standardizing genetic components, biological engineering will become much more similar to traditional fields of engineering, in which well-defined components and subsystems are readily available in markets. Specifications of the behavior of those components and subsystems can be used to model a system which incorporates them. Then, the behavior of the novel system can be simulated and optimized. Finally, the components and subsystems can be purchased and assembled to create the optimized system, which most often will exhibit behavior similar to that indicated by the model. The Space Synthetic Biology project began in 2012 as a multi-Center effort. The purpose of this project was to harness Synthetic Biology principals to enable NASA's missions. A central target for application was to Environmental Control & Life Support (ECLS). Engineers from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC's) ECLS Systems Development Branch (ES62) were brought into the project to contribute expertise in operational ECLS systems. Project lead scientists chose to pursue the development of bioelectrochemical technologies to spacecraft life support. Therefore, the ECLS element of the project became essentially an effort to develop a bioelectrochemical ECLS subsystem. Bioelectrochemical systems exploit the ability of many microorganisms to drive their metabolisms by direct or indirect utilization of electrical potential gradients. Whereas many microorganisms are capable of deriving the energy required for the processes of interest (such as carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation) from sunlight, it is believed that subsystems utilizing electrotrophs will exhibit smaller mass, volume, and power requirements than those that derive their energy from sunlight. In the first 2 years of the project, MSFC personnel conducted modeling, simulation, and conceptual design efforts to assist the

  4. Methanol regulated yeast promoters: production vehicles and toolbox for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasser, Brigitte; Steiger, Matthias G; Mattanovich, Diethard

    2015-12-02

    Promoters are indispensable elements of a standardized parts collection for synthetic biology. Regulated promoters of a wide variety of well-defined induction ratios and expression strengths are highly interesting for many applications. Exemplarily, we discuss the application of published genome scale transcriptomics data for the primary selection of methanol inducible promoters of the yeast Pichia pastoris (Komagataella sp.). Such a promoter collection can serve as an excellent toolbox for cell and metabolic engineering, and for gene expression to produce heterologous proteins.

  5. CRISPR and the Rebirth of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari, Raheleh; Shaw, David Martin; Elger, Bernice Simone

    2017-04-01

    Emergence of novel genome engineering technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) has refocused attention on unresolved ethical complications of synthetic biology. Biosecurity concerns, deontological issues and human right aspects of genome editing have been the subject of in-depth debate; however, a lack of transparent regulatory guidelines, outdated governance codes, inefficient time-consuming clinical trial pathways and frequent misunderstanding of the scientific potential of cutting-edge technologies have created substantial obstacles to translational research in this area. While a precautionary principle should be applied at all stages of genome engineering research, the stigma of germline editing, synthesis of new life forms and unrealistic presentation of current technologies should not arrest the transition of new therapeutic, diagnostic or preventive tools from research to clinic. We provide a brief review on the present regulation of CRISPR and discuss the translational aspect of genome engineering research and patient autonomy with respect to the "right to try" potential novel non-germline gene therapies.

  6. Study of mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of synthetic fibers nylon-and-polyester type, used in engineering products; Estudo das propriedades mecanicas e dos mecanismos de fratura de fibras sinteticas do tipo nailon e poliester em tecidos de engenharia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cardoso, Sergio Gomes

    2009-07-01

    Fibers are groups formed by molecular-chain-oriented filaments. Fibers play a fundamental role in human being's daily life and they can be found in several forms and geometries, such as filaments, yarns, beams, rope, fabric, composite, coatings, others. They are used in various segments such as civil, mechanical, electrical, electronics, military, naval, nautical, aviation, health, medicine, environment, communications, safety, space, others. Fibers are divided into two distinct classes: natural and chemical ones, which cover synthetic and man-made sub-classes. They can be produced from several materials, such as wool, cotton, rayon, flax, silk, rock, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, poly-propylene, aramid, glass, carbon, steel, ceramic, others. Globally, the participation of chemical fibers corresponds to approximately 59,9%, and the synthetic fiber polyester, the most used one, represents approximately 63% of the world market. Vital needs have led to the development of multi-function fibers and the focus has changed in the last 10 years with the use of nano technology for environmental responsibility and smart fibers. The study of mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of fibers is of great relevance for characterization and understanding of causes as consequence of failures. For such reason, it was selected technical fabrics made of high performance synthetic fiber nylon-and-polyester type, used in engineered products such as tires, belts, hoses and pneumatic springs, which have been analyzed in each processing phase. Fiber samples were extracted after each processing phase to be analyzed, by traction destructive tests and scanning electron microscopy. The results of analysis of mechanical properties showed loss of resistance to temperature and multi axial stress during fiber processing phase. Through microscopy tests, it was possible to find contamination, surface stains, plastic deformations, scaling, variations in the fracture faces of the

  7. Grand challenges in space synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menezes, Amor A; Montague, Michael G; Cumbers, John; Hogan, John A; Arkin, Adam P

    2015-12-06

    Space synthetic biology is a branch of biotechnology dedicated to engineering biological systems for space exploration, industry and science. There is significant public and private interest in designing robust and reliable organisms that can assist on long-duration astronaut missions. Recent work has also demonstrated that such synthetic biology is a feasible payload minimization and life support approach as well. This article identifies the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the field of space synthetic biology, while highlighting relevant progress. It also outlines anticipated broader benefits from this field, because space engineering advances will drive technological innovation on Earth. © 2015 The Authors.

  8. Synthetic Phage for Tissue Regeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    So Young Yoo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Controlling structural organization and signaling motif display is of great importance to design the functional tissue regenerating materials. Synthetic phage, genetically engineered M13 bacteriophage has been recently introduced as novel tissue regeneration materials to display a high density of cell-signaling peptides on their major coat proteins for tissue regeneration purposes. Structural advantages of their long-rod shape and monodispersity can be taken together to construct nanofibrous scaffolds which support cell proliferation and differentiation as well as direct orientation of their growth in two or three dimensions. This review demonstrated how functional synthetic phage is designed and subsequently utilized for tissue regeneration that offers potential cell therapy.

  9. Industrial scale gene synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Notka, Frank; Liss, Michael; Wagner, Ralf

    2011-01-01

    The most recent developments in the area of deep DNA sequencing and downstream quantitative and functional analysis are rapidly adding a new dimension to understanding biochemical pathways and metabolic interdependencies. These increasing insights pave the way to designing new strategies that address public needs, including environmental applications and therapeutic inventions, or novel cell factories for sustainable and reconcilable energy or chemicals sources. Adding yet another level is building upon nonnaturally occurring networks and pathways. Recent developments in synthetic biology have created economic and reliable options for designing and synthesizing genes, operons, and eventually complete genomes. Meanwhile, high-throughput design and synthesis of extremely comprehensive DNA sequences have evolved into an enabling technology already indispensable in various life science sectors today. Here, we describe the industrial perspective of modern gene synthesis and its relationship with synthetic biology. Gene synthesis contributed significantly to the emergence of synthetic biology by not only providing the genetic material in high quality and quantity but also enabling its assembly, according to engineering design principles, in a standardized format. Synthetic biology on the other hand, added the need for assembling complex circuits and large complexes, thus fostering the development of appropriate methods and expanding the scope of applications. Synthetic biology has also stimulated interdisciplinary collaboration as well as integration of the broader public by addressing socioeconomic, philosophical, ethical, political, and legal opportunities and concerns. The demand-driven technological achievements of gene synthesis and the implemented processes are exemplified by an industrial setting of large-scale gene synthesis, describing production from order to delivery. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Step into the Groove: Engineered Transcription Factors as Modulators of Gene Expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, Astrid E.; Verschure, Pernette J.; Gommans, Willemijn M.; Haisma, Hidde J.; Rots, Marianne G.; Hall, JC; Dunlap, JC; Friedmann, T; VanHeyningen,

    2006-01-01

    Increasing knowledge about the influence of dysregulated gene expression in causing numerous diseases opens up new possibilities for the development of innovative therapeutics. In this chapter, we first describe different mechanisms of misregulated gene expression resulting in various

  11. Step into the groove : engineered transcription factors as modulators of gene expression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.E.; Verschure, P.J.; Gommans, W.M.; Haisma, H.J.; Rots, M.G.

    2006-01-01

    Increasing knowledge about the influence of dysregulated gene expression in causing numerous diseases opens up new possibilities for the development of innovative therapeutics. In this chapter, we first describe different mechanisms of misregulated gene expression resulting in various

  12. ALP gene expression in cDNA samples from bone tissue engineering using a HA/TCP/Chitosan scaffold

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanie, N.; Katarina, H.; Amir, L. R.; Gunawan, H. A.

    2017-08-01

    This study examined the potential use of hydroxyapatite (HA)/tricalcium phosphate (TCP)/Chitosan as a bone tissue engineering scaffold. The potential for using HA/TCP/chitosan as a scaffold was analyzed by measuring expression of the ALP osteogenic gene in cDNA from bone biopsies from four Macaque nemestrina. Experimental conditions included control (untreated), treatment with HA/TCP 70:30, HA/TCP 50:50, and HA/TCP/chitosan. cDNA samples were measured quantitively with Real-Time PCR (qPCR) and semi-quantitively by gel electrophoresis. There were no significant differences in ALP gene expression between treatment subjects after two weeks, but the HA/TCP/chitosan treatment gave the highest level of expression after four weeks. The scaffold using the HA/TCP/chitosan combination induced a higher level of expression of the osteogenic gene ALP than did scaffold without chitosan.

  13. Thermostable proteins bioprocesses: The activity of restriction endonuclease-methyltransferase from Thermus thermophilus (RM.TthHB27I cloned in Escherichia coli is critically affected by the codon composition of the synthetic gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Krefft

    Full Text Available Obtaining thermostable enzymes (thermozymes is an important aspect of biotechnology. As thermophiles have adapted their genomes to high temperatures, their cloned genes' expression in mesophiles is problematic. This is mainly due to their high GC content, which leads to the formation of unfavorable secondary mRNA structures and codon usage in Escherichia coli (E. coli. RM.TthHB27I is a member of a family of bifunctional thermozymes, containing a restriction endonuclease (REase and a methyltransferase (MTase in a single polypeptide. Thermus thermophilus HB27 (T. thermophilus produces low amounts of RM.TthHB27I with a unique DNA cleavage specificity. We have previously cloned the wild type (wt gene into E. coli, which increased the production of RM.TthHB27I over 100-fold. However, its enzymatic activities were extremely low for an ORF expressed under a T7 promoter. We have designed and cloned a fully synthetic tthHB27IRM gene, using a modified 'codon randomization' strategy. Codons with a high GC content and of low occurrence in E. coli were eliminated. We incorporated a stem-loop circuit, devised to negatively control the expression of this highly toxic gene by partially hiding the ribosome-binding site (RBS and START codon in mRNA secondary structures. Despite having optimized 59% of codons, the amount of produced RM.TthHB27I protein was similar for both recombinant tthHB27IRM gene variants. Moreover, the recombinant wt RM.TthHB27I is very unstable, while the RM.TthHB27I resulting from the expression of the synthetic gene exhibited enzymatic activities and stability equal to the native thermozyme isolated from T. thermophilus. Thus, we have developed an efficient purification protocol using the synthetic tthHB27IRM gene variant only. This suggests the effect of co-translational folding kinetics, possibly affected by the frequency of translational errors. The availability of active RM.TthHB27I is of practical importance in molecular biotechnology

  14. Thermostable proteins bioprocesses: The activity of restriction endonuclease-methyltransferase from Thermus thermophilus (RM.TthHB27I) cloned in Escherichia coli is critically affected by the codon composition of the synthetic gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krefft, Daria; Papkov, Aliaksei; Zylicz-Stachula, Agnieszka; Skowron, Piotr M

    2017-01-01

    Obtaining thermostable enzymes (thermozymes) is an important aspect of biotechnology. As thermophiles have adapted their genomes to high temperatures, their cloned genes' expression in mesophiles is problematic. This is mainly due to their high GC content, which leads to the formation of unfavorable secondary mRNA structures and codon usage in Escherichia coli (E. coli). RM.TthHB27I is a member of a family of bifunctional thermozymes, containing a restriction endonuclease (REase) and a methyltransferase (MTase) in a single polypeptide. Thermus thermophilus HB27 (T. thermophilus) produces low amounts of RM.TthHB27I with a unique DNA cleavage specificity. We have previously cloned the wild type (wt) gene into E. coli, which increased the production of RM.TthHB27I over 100-fold. However, its enzymatic activities were extremely low for an ORF expressed under a T7 promoter. We have designed and cloned a fully synthetic tthHB27IRM gene, using a modified 'codon randomization' strategy. Codons with a high GC content and of low occurrence in E. coli were eliminated. We incorporated a stem-loop circuit, devised to negatively control the expression of this highly toxic gene by partially hiding the ribosome-binding site (RBS) and START codon in mRNA secondary structures. Despite having optimized 59% of codons, the amount of produced RM.TthHB27I protein was similar for both recombinant tthHB27IRM gene variants. Moreover, the recombinant wt RM.TthHB27I is very unstable, while the RM.TthHB27I resulting from the expression of the synthetic gene exhibited enzymatic activities and stability equal to the native thermozyme isolated from T. thermophilus. Thus, we have developed an efficient purification protocol using the synthetic tthHB27IRM gene variant only. This suggests the effect of co-translational folding kinetics, possibly affected by the frequency of translational errors. The availability of active RM.TthHB27I is of practical importance in molecular biotechnology, extending

  15. Identification of candidate genes for yeast engineering to improve bioethanol production in very high gravity and lignocellulosic biomass industrial fermentations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Francisco B

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The optimization of industrial bioethanol production will depend on the rational design and manipulation of industrial strains to improve their robustness against the many stress factors affecting their performance during very high gravity (VHG or lignocellulosic fermentations. In this study, a set of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes found, through genome-wide screenings, to confer resistance to the simultaneous presence of different relevant stresses were identified as required for maximal fermentation performance under industrial conditions. Results Chemogenomics data were used to identify eight genes whose expression confers simultaneous resistance to high concentrations of glucose, acetic acid and ethanol, chemical stresses relevant for VHG fermentations; and eleven genes conferring simultaneous resistance to stresses relevant during lignocellulosic fermentations. These eleven genes were identified based on two different sets: one with five genes granting simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and furfural, and the other with six genes providing simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and vanillin. The expression of Bud31 and Hpr1 was found to lead to the increase of both ethanol yield and fermentation rate, while Pho85, Vrp1 and Ygl024w expression is required for maximal ethanol production in VHG fermentations. Five genes, Erg2, Prs3, Rav1, Rpb4 and Vma8, were found to contribute to the maintenance of cell viability in wheat straw hydrolysate and/or the maximal fermentation rate of this substrate. Conclusions The identified genes stand as preferential targets for genetic engineering manipulation in order to generate more robust industrial strains, able to cope with the most significant fermentation stresses and, thus, to increase ethanol production rate and final ethanol titers.

  16. Identification of candidate genes for yeast engineering to improve bioethanol production in very high gravity and lignocellulosic biomass industrial fermentations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Francisco B; Guimarães, Pedro Mr; Gomes, Daniel G; Mira, Nuno P; Teixeira, Miguel C; Sá-Correia, Isabel; Domingues, Lucília

    2011-12-09

    The optimization of industrial bioethanol production will depend on the rational design and manipulation of industrial strains to improve their robustness against the many stress factors affecting their performance during very high gravity (VHG) or lignocellulosic fermentations. In this study, a set of Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes found, through genome-wide screenings, to confer resistance to the simultaneous presence of different relevant stresses were identified as required for maximal fermentation performance under industrial conditions. Chemogenomics data were used to identify eight genes whose expression confers simultaneous resistance to high concentrations of glucose, acetic acid and ethanol, chemical stresses relevant for VHG fermentations; and eleven genes conferring simultaneous resistance to stresses relevant during lignocellulosic fermentations. These eleven genes were identified based on two different sets: one with five genes granting simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and furfural, and the other with six genes providing simultaneous resistance to ethanol, acetic acid and vanillin. The expression of Bud31 and Hpr1 was found to lead to the increase of both ethanol yield and fermentation rate, while Pho85, Vrp1 and Ygl024w expression is required for maximal ethanol production in VHG fermentations. Five genes, Erg2, Prs3, Rav1, Rpb4 and Vma8, were found to contribute to the maintenance of cell viability in wheat straw hydrolysate and/or the maximal fermentation rate of this substrate. The identified genes stand as preferential targets for genetic engineering manipulation in order to generate more robust industrial strains, able to cope with the most significant fermentation stresses and, thus, to increase ethanol production rate and final ethanol titers.

  17. Reverse Engineering of Modified Genes by Bayesian Network Analysis Defines Molecular Determinants Critical to the Development of Glioblastoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunkle, Brian W.; Yoo, Changwon; Roy, Deodutta

    2013-01-01

    In this study we have identified key genes that are critical in development of astrocytic tumors. Meta-analysis of microarray studies which compared normal tissue to astrocytoma revealed a set of 646 differentially expressed genes in the majority of astrocytoma. Reverse engineering of these 646 genes using Bayesian network analysis produced a gene network for each grade of astrocytoma (Grade I–IV), and ‘key genes’ within each grade were identified. Genes found to be most influential to development of the highest grade of astrocytoma, Glioblastoma multiforme were: COL4A1, EGFR, BTF3, MPP2, RAB31, CDK4, CD99, ANXA2, TOP2A, and SERBP1. All of these genes were up-regulated, except MPP2 (down regulated). These 10 genes were able to predict tumor status with 96–100% confidence when using logistic regression, cross validation, and the support vector machine analysis. Markov genes interact with NFkβ, ERK, MAPK, VEGF, growth hormone and collagen to produce a network whose top biological functions are cancer, neurological disease, and cellular movement. Three of the 10 genes - EGFR, COL4A1, and CDK4, in particular, seemed to be potential ‘hubs of activity’. Modified expression of these 10 Markov Blanket genes increases lifetime risk of developing glioblastoma compared to the normal population. The glioblastoma risk estimates were dramatically increased with joint effects of 4 or more than 4 Markov Blanket genes. Joint interaction effects of 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 Markov Blanket genes produced 9, 13, 20.9, 26.7, 52.8, 53.2, 78.1 or 85.9%, respectively, increase in lifetime risk of developing glioblastoma compared to normal population. In summary, it appears that modified expression of several ‘key genes’ may be required for the development of glioblastoma. Further studies are needed to validate these ‘key genes’ as useful tools for early detection and novel therapeutic options for these tumors. PMID:23737970

  18. Standardization for natural product synthetic biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, Huimin; Medema, Marnix H.

    2016-01-01

    Standardization is one of the foundational features of modern-day engineering, and the use of standardized parts and processes is a key element that distinguishes bona fide synthetic biology from traditional genetic engineering. Here, we discuss the role of standardization in natural product

  19. Tracking the emergence of synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Philip; Kwon, Seokbeom; Youtie, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging domain that combines biological and engineering concepts and which has seen rapid growth in research, innovation, and policy interest in recent years. This paper contributes to efforts to delineate this emerging domain by presenting a newly constructed bibliometric definition of synthetic biology. Our approach is dimensioned from a core set of papers in synthetic biology, using procedures to obtain benchmark synthetic biology publication records, extract keywords from these benchmark records, and refine the keywords, supplemented with articles published in dedicated synthetic biology journals. We compare our search strategy with other recent bibliometric approaches to define synthetic biology, using a common source of publication data for the period from 2000 to 2015. The paper details the rapid growth and international spread of research in synthetic biology in recent years, demonstrates that diverse research disciplines are contributing to the multidisciplinary development of synthetic biology research, and visualizes this by profiling synthetic biology research on the map of science. We further show the roles of a relatively concentrated set of research sponsors in funding the growth and trajectories of synthetic biology. In addition to discussing these analyses, the paper notes limitations and suggests lines for further work.

  20. Improved Acetic Acid Resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by Overexpression of the WHI2 Gene Identified through Inverse Metabolic Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yingying; Stabryla, Lisa

    2016-01-01

    Development of acetic acid-resistant Saccharomyces cerevisiae is important for economically viable production of biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass, but the goal remains a critical challenge due to limited information on effective genetic perturbation targets for improving acetic acid resistance in the yeast. This study employed a genomic-library-based inverse metabolic engineering approach to successfully identify a novel gene target, WHI2 (encoding a cytoplasmatic globular scaffold protein), which elicited improved acetic acid resistance in S. cerevisiae. Overexpression of WHI2 significantly improved glucose and/or xylose fermentation under acetic acid stress in engineered yeast. The WHI2-overexpressing strain had 5-times-higher specific ethanol productivity than the control in glucose fermentation with acetic acid. Analysis of the expression of WHI2 gene products (including protein and transcript) determined that acetic acid induced endogenous expression of Whi2 in S. cerevisiae. Meanwhile, the whi2Δ mutant strain had substantially higher susceptibility to acetic acid than the wild type, suggesting the important role of Whi2 in the acetic acid response in S. cerevisiae. Additionally, overexpression of WHI2 and of a cognate phosphatase gene, PSR1, had a synergistic effect in improving acetic acid resistance, suggesting that Whi2 might function in combination with Psr1 to elicit the acetic acid resistance mechanism. These results improve our understanding of the yeast response to acetic acid stress and provide a new strategy to breed acetic acid-resistant yeast strains for renewable biofuel production. PMID:26826231

  1. Rational Diversification of a Promoter Providing Fine-Tuned Expression and Orthogonal Regulation for Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blount, Benjamin A.; Weenink, Tim; Vasylechko, Serge; Ellis, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Yeast is an ideal organism for the development and application of synthetic biology, yet there remain relatively few well-characterised biological parts suitable for precise engineering of this chassis. In order to address this current need, we present here a strategy that takes a single biological part, a promoter, and re-engineers it to produce a fine-graded output range promoter library and new regulated promoters desirable for orthogonal synthetic biology applications. A highly constitutive Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoter, PFY1p, was identified by bioinformatic approaches, characterised in vivo and diversified at its core sequence to create a 36-member promoter library. TetR regulation was introduced into PFY1p to create a synthetic inducible promoter (iPFY1p) that functions in an inverter device. Orthogonal and scalable regulation of synthetic promoters was then demonstrated for the first time using customisable Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) modified and designed to act as orthogonal repressors for specific PFY1-based promoters. The ability to diversify a promoter at its core sequences and then independently target Transcription Activator-Like Orthogonal Repressors (TALORs) to virtually any of these sequences shows great promise toward the design and construction of future synthetic gene networks that encode complex “multi-wire” logic functions. PMID:22442681

  2. Synthetic biology and biomimetic chemistry as converging technologies fostering a new generation of smart biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scognamiglio, Viviana; Antonacci, Amina; Lambreva, Maya D; Litescu, Simona C; Rea, Giuseppina

    2015-12-15

    Biosensors are powerful tunable systems able to switch between an ON/OFF status in response to an external stimulus. This extraordinary property could be engineered by adopting synthetic biology or biomimetic chemistry to obtain tailor-made biosensors having the desired requirements of robustness, sensitivity and detection range. Recent advances in both disciplines, in fact, allow to re-design the configuration of the sensing elements - either by modifying toggle switches and gene networks, or by producing synthetic entities mimicking key properties of natural molecules. The present review considered the role of synthetic biology in sustaining biosensor technology, reporting examples from the literature and reflecting on the features that make it a useful tool for designing and constructing engineered biological systems for sensing application. Besides, a section dedicated to bioinspired synthetic molecules as powerful tools to enhance biosensor potential is reported, and treated as an extension of the concept of biomimetic chemistry, where organic synthesis is used to generate artificial molecules that mimic natural molecules. Thus, the design of synthetic molecules, such as aptamers, biomimetics, molecular imprinting polymers, peptide nucleic acids, and ribozymes were encompassed as "products" of biomimetic chemistry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Synthetic collective intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Ricard; Amor, Daniel R; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Conde-Pueyo, Núria; Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Montañez, Raúl

    2016-10-01

    Intelligent systems have emerged in our biosphere in different contexts and achieving different levels of complexity. The requirement of communication in a social context has been in all cases a determinant. The human brain, probably co-evolving with language, is an exceedingly successful example. Similarly, social insects complex collective decisions emerge from information exchanges between many agents. The difference is that such processing is obtained out of a limited individual cognitive power. Computational models and embodied versions using non-living systems, particularly involving robot swarms, have been used to explore the potentiality of collective intelligence. Here we suggest a novel approach to the problem grounded in the genetic engineering of unicellular systems, which can be modified in order to interact, store memories or adapt to external stimuli in collective ways. What we label as Synthetic Swarm Intelligence defines a parallel approach to the evolution of computation and swarm intelligence and allows to explore potential embodied scenarios for decision making at the microscale. Here, we consider several relevant examples of collective intelligence and their synthetic organism counterparts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. High levels of bioplastic are produced in fertile transplastomic tobacco plants engineered with a synthetic operon for the production of polyhydroxybutyrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohmert-Tatarev, Karen; McAvoy, Susan; Daughtry, Sean; Peoples, Oliver P; Snell, Kristi D

    2011-04-01

    An optimized genetic construct for plastid transformation of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for the production of the renewable, biodegradable plastic polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was designed using an operon extension strategy. Bacterial genes encoding the PHB pathway enzymes were selected for use in this construct based on their similarity to the codon usage and GC content of the tobacco plastome. Regulatory elements with limited homology to the host plastome yet known to yield high levels of plastidial recombinant protein production were used to enhance the expression of the transgenes. A partial transcriptional unit, containing genes of the PHB pathway and a selectable marker gene encoding spectinomycin resistance, was flanked at the 5' end by the host plant's psbA coding sequence and at the 3' end by the host plant's 3' psbA untranslated region. This design allowed insertion of the transgenes into the plastome as an extension of the psbA operon, rendering the addition of a promoter to drive the expression of the transgenes unnecessary. Transformation of the optimized construct into tobacco and subsequent spectinomycin selection of transgenic plants yielded T0 plants that were capable of producing up to 18.8% dry weight PHB in samples of leaf tissue. These plants were fertile and produced viable seed. T1 plants producing up to 17.3% dry weight PHB in samples of leaf tissue and 8.8% dry weight PHB in the total biomass of the plant were also isolated.

  5. High Levels of Bioplastic Are Produced in Fertile Transplastomic Tobacco Plants Engineered with a Synthetic Operon for the Production of Polyhydroxybutyrate1[C][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohmert-Tatarev, Karen; McAvoy, Susan; Daughtry, Sean; Peoples, Oliver P.; Snell, Kristi D.

    2011-01-01

    An optimized genetic construct for plastid transformation of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for the production of the renewable, biodegradable plastic polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) was designed using an operon extension strategy. Bacterial genes encoding the PHB pathway enzymes were selected for use in this construct based on their similarity to the codon usage and GC content of the tobacco plastome. Regulatory elements with limited homology to the host plastome yet known to yield high levels of plastidial recombinant protein production were used to enhance the expression of the transgenes. A partial transcriptional unit, containing genes of the PHB pathway and a selectable marker gene encoding spectinomycin resistance, was flanked at the 5′ end by the host plant’s psbA coding sequence and at the 3′ end by the host plant’s 3′ psbA untranslated region. This design allowed insertion of the transgenes into the plastome as an extension of the psbA operon, rendering the addition of a promoter to drive the expression of the transgenes unnecessary. Transformation of the optimized construct into tobacco and subsequent spectinomycin selection of transgenic plants yielded T0 plants that were capable of producing up to 18.8% dry weight PHB in samples of leaf tissue. These plants were fertile and produced viable seed. T1 plants producing up to 17.3% dry weight PHB in samples of leaf tissue and 8.8% dry weight PHB in the total biomass of the plant were also isolated. PMID:21325565

  6. Control theory meets synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Dy, Aaron J; Qian, Yili

    2016-07-01

    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Step out of the groove : Epigenetic gene control systems and engineered transcription factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschure, Pernette J.; Visser, Astrid E.; Rots, Marianne G.; Hall, JC; Dunlap, JC; Friedmann, T; VanHeyningen,

    2006-01-01

    At the linear DNA level, gene activity is believed to be driven by binding of transcription factors, which subsequently recruit the RNA polymerase to the gene promoter region. However, it has become clear that transcriptional activation involves large complexes of many different proteins, which not

  8. Step out of the groove : epigenetic gene control systems and engineered transcription factors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschure, P.J.; Visser, A.E.; Rots, M.G.

    2006-01-01

    At the linear DNA level, gene activity is believed to be driven by binding of transcription factors, which subsequently recruit the RNA polymerase to the gene promoter region. However, it has become clear that transcriptional activation involves large complexes of many different proteins, which not

  9. Design-Based Learning for Biology: Genetic Engineering Experience Improves Understanding of Gene Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellefson, Michelle R.; Brinker, Rebecca A.; Vernacchio, Vincent J.; Schunn, Christian D.

    2008-01-01

    Gene expression is a difficult topic for students to learn and comprehend, at least partially because it involves various biochemical structures and processes occurring at the microscopic level. Designer Bacteria, a design-based learning (DBL) unit for high-school students, applies principles of DBL to the teaching of gene expression. Throughout…

  10. A modular toolbox for gRNA?Cas9 genome engineering in plants based on the GoldenBraid standard

    OpenAIRE

    Vazquez-Vilar, Marta; Bernab?-Orts, Joan Miquel; Fernandez-del-Carmen, Asun; Ziarsolo, Pello; Blanca, Jose; Granell, Antonio; Orzaez, Diego

    2016-01-01

    [EN] Background: The efficiency, versatility and multiplexing capacity of RNA-guided genome engineering using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology enables a variety of applications in plants, ranging from gene editing to the construction of transcriptional gene circuits, many of which depend on the technical ability to compose and transfer complex synthetic instructions into the plant cell. The engineering principles of standardization and modularity applied to DNA cloning are impacting pla...

  11. Advances in combining gene therapy with cell and tissue engineering-based approaches to enhance healing of the meniscus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucchiarini, M.; McNulty, A.L.; Mauck, R.L.; Setton, L.A.; Guilak, F.; Madry, H.

    2017-01-01

    SUMMARY Meniscal lesions are common problems in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine, and injury or loss of the meniscus accelerates the onset of knee osteoarthritis. Despite a variety of therapeutic options in the clinics, there is a critical need for improved treatments to enhance meniscal repair. In this regard, combining gene-, cell-, and tissue engineering-based approaches is an attractive strategy to generate novel, effective therapies to treat meniscal lesions. In the present work, we provide an overview of the tools currently available to improve meniscal repair and discuss the progress and remaining challenges for potential future translation in patients. PMID:27063441

  12. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges.

  13. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Michael R.; Atsumi, Shota

    2010-01-01

    The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges. PMID:20827393

  14. Microfluidic Technologies for Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Kuk Lee

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Microfluidic technologies have shown powerful abilities for reducing cost, time, and labor, and at the same time, for increasing accuracy, throughput, and performance in the analysis of biological and biochemical samples compared with the conventional, macroscale instruments. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology and has drawn much attraction due to its potential to create novel, functional biological parts and systems for special purposes. Since it is believed that the development of synthetic biology can be accelerated through the use of microfluidic technology, in this review work we focus our discussion on the latest microfluidic technologies that can provide unprecedented means in synthetic biology for dynamic profiling of gene expression/regulation with high resolution, highly sensitive on-chip and off-chip detection of metabolites, and whole-cell analysis.

  15. Programmed Nanomaterial Assemblies in Large Scales: Applications of Synthetic and Genetically- Engineered Peptides to Bridge Nano-Assemblies and Macro-Assemblies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsui, Hiroshi

    2014-09-09

    Work is reported in these areas: Large-scale & reconfigurable 3D structures of precise nanoparticle assemblies in self-assembled collagen peptide grids; Binary QD-Au NP 3D superlattices assembled with collagen-like peptides and energy transfer between QD and Au NP in 3D peptide frameworks; Catalytic peptides discovered by new hydrogel-based combinatorial phage display approach and their enzyme-mimicking 2D assembly; New autonomous motors of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) powered by reorganization of self-assembled peptides at interfaces; Biomimetic assembly of proteins into microcapsules on oil-in-water droplets with structural reinforcement via biomolecular recognition-based cross-linking of surface peptides; and Biomimetic fabrication of strong freestanding genetically-engineered collagen peptide films reinforced by quantum dot joints. We gained the broad knowledge about biomimetic material assembly from nanoscale to microscale ranges by coassembling peptides and NPs via biomolecular recognition. We discovered: Genetically-engineered collagen-like peptides can be self-assembled with Au NPs to generate 3D superlattices in large volumes (> μm{sup 3}); The assembly of the 3D peptide-Au NP superstructures is dynamic and the interparticle distance changes with assembly time as the reconfiguration of structure is triggered by pH change; QDs/NPs can be assembled with the peptide frameworks to generate 3D superlattices and these QDs/NPs can be electronically coupled for the efficient energy transfer; The controlled assembly of catalytic peptides mimicking the catalytic pocket of enzymes can catalyze chemical reactions with high selectivity; and, For the bacteria-mimicking swimmer fabrication, peptide-MOF superlattices can power translational and propellant motions by the reconfiguration of peptide assembly at the MOF-liquid interface.

  16. Synthetic Promoter Library for Modulation of Actinorhodin Production in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sohoni, Sujata Vijay; Fazio, Alessandro; Workman, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    of gene expression in metabolic engineering. Transcriptome studies were performed in exponential and actinorhodin-producing phase of growth to compare gene expression between ScoSPL20 and the wild type. To our knowledge, this is the first successful application of the SPL technology for secondary......The objective of this study was the application of the synthetic promoter library (SPL) technology for modulation of actinorhodin production in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). The SPL technology was used to optimize the expression of a pathway specific positive transcriptional regulator Actll orf4...

  17. A New Synthetic Allotetraploid (A1A1G2G2) between Gossypium herbaceum and G. australe: Bridging for Simultaneously Transferring Favorable Genes from These Two Diploid Species into Upland Cotton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yu; Wang, Yingying; Chen, Jinjin; Zhang, Tianzhen; Zhou, Baoliang

    2015-01-01

    Gossypium herbaceum, a cultivated diploid cotton species (2n = 2x = 26, A1A1), has favorable traits such as excellent drought tolerance and resistance to sucking insects and leaf curl virus. G. australe, a wild diploid cotton species (2n = 2x = 26, G2G2), possesses numerous economically valuable characteristics such as delayed pigment gland morphogenesis (which is conducive to the production of seeds with very low levels of gossypol as a potential food source for humans and animals) and resistance to insects, wilt diseases and abiotic stress. Creating synthetic allotetraploid cotton from these two species would lay the foundation for simultaneously transferring favorable genes into cultivated tetraploid cotton. Here, we crossed G. herbaceum (as the maternal parent) with G. australe to produce an F1 interspecific hybrid and doubled its chromosome complement with colchicine, successfully generating a synthetic tetraploid. The obtained tetraploid was confirmed by morphology, cytology and molecular markers and then self-pollinated. The S1 seedlings derived from this tetraploid gradually became flavescent after emergence of the fifth true leaf, but they were rescued by grafting and produced S2 seeds. The rescued S1 plants were partially fertile due to the existence of univalents at Metaphase I of meiosis, leading to the formation of unbalanced, nonviable gametes lacking complete sets of chromosomes. The S2 plants grew well and no flavescence was observed, implying that interspecific incompatibility, to some extent, had been alleviated in the S2 generation. The synthetic allotetraploid will be quite useful for polyploidy evolutionary studies and as a bridge for transferring favorable genes from these two diploid species into Upland cotton through hybridization. PMID:25879660

  18. Modular design of artificial tissue homeostasis: robust control through synthetic cellular heterogeneity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miles Miller

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology efforts have largely focused on small engineered gene networks, yet understanding how to integrate multiple synthetic modules and interface them with endogenous pathways remains a challenge. Here we present the design, system integration, and analysis of several large scale synthetic gene circuits for artificial tissue homeostasis. Diabetes therapy represents a possible application for engineered homeostasis, where genetically programmed stem cells maintain a steady population of β-cells despite continuous turnover. We develop a new iterative process that incorporates modular design principles with hierarchical performance optimization targeted for environments with uncertainty and incomplete information. We employ theoretical analysis and computational simulations of multicellular reaction/diffusion models to design and understand system behavior, and find that certain features often associated with robustness (e.g., multicellular synchronization and noise attenuation are actually detrimental for tissue homeostasis. We overcome these problems by engineering a new class of genetic modules for 'synthetic cellular heterogeneity' that function to generate beneficial population diversity. We design two such modules (an asynchronous genetic oscillator and a signaling throttle mechanism, demonstrate their capacity for enhancing robust control, and provide guidance for experimental implementation with various computational techniques. We found that designing modules for synthetic heterogeneity can be complex, and in general requires a framework for non-linear and multifactorial analysis. Consequently, we adapt a 'phenotypic sensitivity analysis' method to determine how functional module behaviors combine to achieve optimal system performance. We ultimately combine this analysis with Bayesian network inference to extract critical, causal relationships between a module's biochemical rate-constants, its high level functional behavior in

  19. Modular design of artificial tissue homeostasis: robust control through synthetic cellular heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Miles; Hafner, Marc; Sontag, Eduardo; Davidsohn, Noah; Subramanian, Sairam; Purnick, Priscilla E M; Lauffenburger, Douglas; Weiss, Ron

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology efforts have largely focused on small engineered gene networks, yet understanding how to integrate multiple synthetic modules and interface them with endogenous pathways remains a challenge. Here we present the design, system integration, and analysis of several large scale synthetic gene circuits for artificial tissue homeostasis. Diabetes therapy represents a possible application for engineered homeostasis, where genetically programmed stem cells maintain a steady population of β-cells despite continuous turnover. We develop a new iterative process that incorporates modular design principles with hierarchical performance optimization targeted for environments with uncertainty and incomplete information. We employ theoretical analysis and computational simulations of multicellular reaction/diffusion models to design and understand system behavior, and find that certain features often associated with robustness (e.g., multicellular synchronization and noise attenuation) are actually detrimental for tissue homeostasis. We overcome these problems by engineering a new class of genetic modules for 'synthetic cellular heterogeneity' that function to generate beneficial population diversity. We design two such modules (an asynchronous genetic oscillator and a signaling throttle mechanism), demonstrate their capacity for enhancing robust control, and provide guidance for experimental implementation with various computational techniques. We found that designing modules for synthetic heterogeneity can be complex, and in general requires a framework for non-linear and multifactorial analysis. Consequently, we adapt a 'phenotypic sensitivity analysis' method to determine how functional module behaviors combine to achieve optimal system performance. We ultimately combine this analysis with Bayesian network inference to extract critical, causal relationships between a module's biochemical rate-constants, its high level functional behavior in isolation, and

  20. Genetic engineering of crop plants for fungal resistance: role of antifungal genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceasar, S Antony; Ignacimuthu, S

    2012-06-01

    Fungal diseases damage crop plants and affect agricultural production. Transgenic plants have been produced by inserting antifungal genes to confer resistance against fungal pathogens. Genes of fungal cell wall-degrading enzymes, such as chitinase and glucanase, are frequently used to produce fungal-resistant transgenic crop plants. In this review, we summarize the details of various transformation studies to develop fungal resistance in crop plants.

  1. Redox engineering by ectopic expression of glutamate dehydrogenase genes links NADPH availability and NADH oxidation with cold growth in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballester-Tomás, Lidia; Randez-Gil, Francisca; Pérez-Torrado, Roberto; Prieto, Jose Antonio

    2015-07-09

    Cold stress reduces microbial growth and metabolism being relevant in industrial processes like wine making and brewing. Knowledge on the cold transcriptional response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae suggests the need of a proper redox balance. Nevertheless, there are no direct evidence of the links between NAD(P) levels and cold growth and how engineering of enzymatic reactions requiring NAD(P) may be used to modify the performance of industrial strains at low temperature. Recombinant strains of S. cerevisiae modified for increased NADPH- and NADH-dependent Gdh1 and Gdh2 activity were tested for growth at low temperature. A high-copy number of the GDH2-encoded glutamate dehydrogenase gene stimulated growth at 15°C, while overexpression of GDH1 had detrimental effects, a difference likely caused by cofactor preferences. Indeed, neither the Trp(-) character of the tested strains, which could affect the synthesis of NAD(P), nor changes in oxidative stress susceptibility by overexpression of GDH1 and GDH2 account for the observed phenotypes. However, increased or reduced NADPH availability by knock-out or overexpression of GRE3, the NADPH-dependent aldose reductase gene, eliminated or exacerbated the cold-growth defect observed in YEpGDH1 cells. We also demonstrated that decreased capacity of glycerol production impairs growth at 15 but not at 30°C and that 15°C-grown baker's yeast cells display higher fermentative capacity than those cultivated at 30°C. Thus, increasing NADH oxidation by overexpression of GDH2 would help to avoid perturbations in the redox metabolism induced by a higher fermentative/oxidative balance at low temperature. Finally, it is shown that overexpression of GDH2 increases notably the cold growth in the wine yeast strain QA23 in both standard growth medium and synthetic grape must. Redox constraints limit the growth of S. cerevisiae at temperatures below the optimal. An adequate supply of NAD(P) precursors as well as a proper level of reducing

  2. Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braff, Dana; Shis, David; Collins, James J

    2016-10-01

    The growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance calls for new approaches in the development of antimicrobial therapeutics. Likewise, improved diagnostic measures are essential in guiding the application of targeted therapies and preventing the evolution of therapeutic resistance. Discovery platforms are also needed to form new treatment strategies and identify novel antimicrobial agents. By applying engineering principles to molecular biology, synthetic biologists have developed platforms that improve upon, supplement, and will perhaps supplant traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts in engineering bacteriophages and synthetic probiotics demonstrate targeted antimicrobial approaches that can be fine-tuned using synthetic biology-derived principles. Further, the development of paper-based, cell-free expression systems holds promise in promoting the clinical translation of molecular biology tools for diagnostic purposes. In this review, we highlight emerging synthetic biology platform technologies that are geared toward the generation of new antimicrobial therapies, diagnostics, and discovery channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Dealing with the genetic load in bacterial synthetic biology circuits: convergences with the Ohm's law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbonell-Ballestero, M; Garcia-Ramallo, E; Montañez, R; Rodriguez-Caso, C; Macía, J

    2016-01-08

    Synthetic biology seeks to envision living cells as a matter of engineering. However, increasing evidence suggests that the genetic load imposed by the incorporation of synthetic devices in a living organism introduces a sort of unpredictability in the design process. As a result, individual part characterization is not enough to predict the behavior of designed circuits and thus, a costly trial-error process is eventually required. In this work, we provide a new theoretical framework for the predictive treatment of the genetic load. We mathematically and experimentally demonstrate that dependences among genes follow a quantitatively predictable behavior. Our theory predicts the observed reduction of the expression of a given synthetic gene when an extra genetic load is introduced in the circuit. The theory also explains that such dependence qualitatively differs when the extra load is added either by transcriptional or translational modifications. We finally show that the limitation of the cellular resources for gene expression leads to a mathematical formulation that converges to an expression analogous to the Ohm's law for electric circuits. Similitudes and divergences with this law are outlined. Our work provides a suitable framework with predictive character for the design process of complex genetic devices in synthetic biology. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  4. Design and construction of "synthetic species".

    OpenAIRE

    Moreno Eduardo

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an area of biological research that combines science and engineering. Here, I merge the principles of synthetic biology and regulatory evolution to create a new species with a minimal set of known elements. Using preexisting transgenes and recessive mutations of Drosophila melanogaster, a transgenic population arises with small eyes and a different venation pattern that fulfils the criteria of a new species according to Mayr’s Biological Species Concept. The population de...

  5. Engineering Clostridium beijerinckii with the Cbei_4693 gene knockout for enhanced ferulic acid tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jun; Guo, Ting; Shen, Xiaoning; Xu, Jiahui; Wang, Junzhi; Wang, Yanyan; Liu, Dong; Niu, Huanqing; Liang, Lei; Ying, Hanjie

    2016-07-10

    A mutant strain of Clostridium beijerinckii NCIMB 8052, C. beijerinckii M11, which exhibited ferulic acid tolerance up to 0.9g/L, was generated using atmospheric pressure glow discharge and high-throughput screening. Comparative genomic analysis revealed that this strain harbored a mutation of the Cbei_4693 gene, which encodes a hypothetical protein suspected to be an NADPH-dependent FMN reductase. After disrupting the Cbei_4693 gene in C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052 using the ClosTron group II intron-based gene inactivation system, we obtained the Cbei_4693 gene inactivated mutant strain, C. beijerinckii 4693::int. Compared with C. beijerinckii NCIMB 8052, 6.23g/L of butanol was produced in P2 medium containing 0.5g/L of ferulic acid by 4693::int, and the ferulic acid tolerance was also significantly increased up to 0.8g/L. These data showed, for the first time, that the Cbei_4693 gene plays an important role in regulating ferulic acid tolerance in ABE fermentation by C. beijerinckii. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Geo synthetics in hydraulic and coastal engineering: Filters, revetments and sand filled structures; Geosinteticos en ingenieria hidraulica y costera: filtros, revestimientos y estructuras llenas de arena

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bezuijen, A.; Pilarczyk, K. W.

    2014-02-01

    The paper deals with 2 applications of geo textiles in coastal and hydraulic engineering: Geo textiles in filters and revetments; and geo textiles in sand filled structure. Geo textiles are often replacing granular filters. However, they have different properties than a granular filter. For the application of geo textiles in revetments, the consequences of the different properties will be shown: how permeability is influenced by a geo textile and what can be the consequences of the weight differences between granular and geo textile filters. In the other application, the filter properties of geo textiles are only secondary. In geo textile tubes and containers the geo textile is used as wrapping material to create large unties that will not erode during wave attach. the structures with geo textile tubes and containers serve as an alternative for rock based structures. The first of these structures were more or less constructed by trial and error, but research on the shape of the structures, the stability under wave attach and the durability of the used of the used material has given the possibility to use design tools for these structures. Recently also the morphological aspects of these structures have been investigated. This is of importance because regularly structures with geo textile tubes fail due to insufficient toe protection against the scour hole that that develops in front of the structure, leading to undermining of the structure. Recent research in the Dealt Flume of Deltares and the Large Wave Flume in Hannover has led to better understanding what mechanisms determine the stability under wave attach. It is shown that also the degree of filling is of importance and the position of the water level with respect to the tube has a large influence. (Author)

  7. Human IL-12 p40 as a reporter gene for high-throughput screening of engineered mouse embryonic stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaffer Benjamin

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Establishing a suitable level of exogenous gene expression in mammalian cells in general, and embryonic stem (ES cells in particular, is an important aspect of understanding pathways of cell differentiation, signal transduction and cell physiology. Despite its importance, this process remains challenging because of the poor correlation between the presence of introduced exogenous DNA and its transcription. Consequently, many transfected cells must be screened to identify those with an appropriate level of expression. To improve the screening process, we investigated the utility of the human interleukin 12 (IL-12 p40 cDNA as a reporter gene for studies of mammalian gene expression and for high-throughput screening of engineered mouse embryonic stem cells. Results A series of expression plasmids were used to study the utility of IL-12 p40 as an accurate reporter of gene activity. These studies included a characterization of the IL-12 p40 expression system in terms of: (i a time course of IL-12 p40 accumulation in the medium of transfected cells; (ii the dose-response relationship between the input DNA and IL-12 p40 mRNA levels and IL-12 p40 protein secretion; (iii the utility of IL-12 p40 as a reporter gene for analyzing the activity of cis-acting genetic elements; (iv expression of the IL-12 p40 reporter protein driven by an IRES element in a bicistronic mRNA; (v utility of IL-12 p40 as a reporter gene in a high-throughput screening strategy to identify successful transformed mouse embryonic stem cells; (vi demonstration of pluripotency of IL-12 p40 expressing ES cells in vitro and in vivo; and (vii germline transmission of the IL-12 p40 reporter gene. Conclusion IL-12 p40 showed several advantages as a reporter gene in terms of sensitivity and ease of the detection procedure. The IL-12 p40 assay was rapid and simple, in as much as the reporter protein secreted from the transfected cells was accurately measured by ELISA using

  8. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative--additional investments will expand markets--but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized.

  9. Synthetic biology as red herring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Beth

    2013-12-01

    It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice-agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Xylose-induced dynamic effects on metabolism and gene expression in engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae in anaerobic glucose-xylose cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alff-Tuomala, Susanne; Salusjärvi, Laura; Barth, Dorothee; Oja, Merja; Penttilä, Merja; Pitkänen, Juha-Pekka; Ruohonen, Laura; Jouhten, Paula

    2016-01-01

    Xylose is present with glucose in lignocellulosic streams available for valorisation to biochemicals. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has excellent characteristics as a host for the bioconversion, except that it strongly prefers glucose to xylose, and the co-consumption remains a challenge. Further, since xylose is not a natural substrate of S. cerevisiae, the regulatory response it induces in an engineered strain cannot be expected to have evolved for its utilisation. Xylose-induced effects on metabolism and gene expression during anaerobic growth of an engineered strain of S. cerevisiae on medium containing both glucose and xylose medium were quantified. The gene expression of S. cerevisiae with an XR-XDH pathway for xylose utilisation was analysed throughout the cultivation: at early cultivation times when mainly glucose was metabolised, at times when xylose was co-consumed in the presence of low glucose concentrations, and when glucose had been depleted and only xylose was being consumed. Cultivations on glucose as a sole carbon source were used as a control. Genome-scale dynamic flux balance analysis models were simulated to analyse the metabolic dynamics of S. cerevisiae. The simulations quantitatively estimated xylose-dependent flux dynamics and challenged the utilisation of the metabolic network. A relative increase in xylose utilisation was predicted to induce the bi-directionality of glycolytic flux and a redox challenge even at low glucose concentrations. Remarkably, xylose was observed to specifically delay the glucose-dependent repression of particular genes in mixed glucose-xylose cultures compared to glucose cultures. The delay occurred at a cultivation time when the metabolic flux activities were similar in the both cultures.

  11. The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) provides a community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdzicki, Michal; Clancy, Kevin P; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Quinn, Jacqueline Y; Rodriguez, Cesar A; Roehner, Nicholas; Wilson, Mandy L; Adam, Laura; Anderson, J Christopher; Bartley, Bryan A; Beal, Jacob; Chandran, Deepak; Chen, Joanna; Densmore, Douglas; Endy, Drew; Grünberg, Raik; Hallinan, Jennifer; Hillson, Nathan J; Johnson, Jeffrey D; Kuchinsky, Allan; Lux, Matthew; Misirli, Goksel; Peccoud, Jean; Plahar, Hector A; Sirin, Evren; Stan, Guy-Bart; Villalobos, Alan; Wipat, Anil; Gennari, John H; Myers, Chris J; Sauro, Herbert M

    2014-06-01

    The re-use of previously validated designs is critical to the evolution of synthetic biology from a research discipline to an engineering practice. Here we describe the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), a proposed data standard for exchanging designs within the synthetic biology community. SBOL represents synthetic biology designs in a community-driven, formalized format for exchange between software tools, research groups and commercial service providers. The SBOL Developers Group has implemented SBOL as an XML/RDF serialization and provides software libraries and specification documentation to help developers implement SBOL in their own software. We describe early successes, including a demonstration of the utility of SBOL for information exchange between several different software tools and repositories from both academic and industrial partners. As a community-driven standard, SBOL will be updated as synthetic biology evolves to provide specific capabilities for different aspects of the synthetic biology workflow.

  12. Synthetic Biology: game changer in intelectual property

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurens Landeweerd

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology can be considered a game changer that plays an important role in the current NBIC, or BINC convergence of nano-, bio-, info and cognitive sciences. Although most synthetic biology experts are unaware of it, the field appeals to the imagination in its adherence to targets that were usually associated with premodern alchemist science. This paper elaborates several aspects of synthetic biology as well as its consequences for long held notions of intellectual property and the ontological categories of scientific discovery on the one hand and engineering on the other, the distinction between natural and artificial, the grown and the made.

  13. Genetically engineered micro-organisms: Aromatic hydrocarbon biodegradation genes from Rhodococcus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kendall, K.

    1993-01-01

    DNA known to encode toluene biodegradation genes in Pseudomonas putida was used in Southern Blots to identify homologous DNA in the unrelated toluene degrading Actinomycete, Rhodococcus sp. ATCC 19070. Two strongly hybridizing EcoRI fragments of 2.3 kb and 2.7 kb respectively were cloned into E. coli. Sequence analysis of a 400 bp section of the 2.3 kb fragment demonstrated that it encodes proteins with similar amino acid sequences to the xylX and xylY genes of P. putida. These proteins are components of toluate oxygenase, the enzyme catalyzing the first step in the metabolism of benzoic acid

  14. Identification of line-specific strategies for improving carotenoid production in synthetic maize through data-driven mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas, Jorge; Benfeitas, Rui; Vilaprinyo, Ester; Sorribas, Albert; Solsona, Francesc; Farré, Gemma; Berman, Judit; Zorrilla, Uxue; Capell, Teresa; Sandmann, Gerhard; Zhu, Changfu; Christou, Paul; Alves, Rui

    2016-09-01

    Plant synthetic biology is still in its infancy. However, synthetic biology approaches have been used to manipulate and improve the nutritional and health value of staple food crops such as rice, potato and maize. With current technologies, production yields of the synthetic nutrients are a result of trial and error, and systematic rational strategies to optimize those yields are still lacking. Here, we present a workflow that combines gene expression and quantitative metabolomics with mathematical modeling to identify strategies for increasing production yields of nutritionally important carotenoids in the seed endosperm synthesized through alternative biosynthetic pathways in synthetic lines of white maize, which is normally devoid of carotenoids. Quantitative metabolomics and gene expression data are used to create and fit parameters of mathematical models that are specific to four independent maize lines. Sensitivity analysis and simulation of each model is used to predict which gene activities should be further engineered in order to increase production yields for carotenoid accumulation in each line. Some of these predictions (e.g. increasing Zmlycb/Gllycb will increase accumulated β-carotenes) are valid across the four maize lines and consistent with experimental observations in other systems. Other predictions are line specific. The workflow is adaptable to any other biological system for which appropriate quantitative information is available. Furthermore, we validate some of the predictions using experimental data from additional synthetic maize lines for which no models were developed. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Sorbitol synthesis by an engineered Lactobacillus casei strain expressing a sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase gene within the lactose operon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Lorenzo; Pérez-Martínez, Gaspar; Yebra, María J

    2005-08-01

    Sorbitol is claimed to have important health-promoting effects and Lactobacillus casei is a lactic acid bacterium relevant as probiotic and used as a cheese starter culture. A sorbitol-producing L. casei strain might therefore be of considerable interest in the food industry. A recombinant strain of L. casei was constructed by the integration of a d-sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-encoding gene (gutF) in the chromosomal lactose operon (strain BL232). gutF expression in this strain followed the same regulation as that of the lac genes, that is, it was repressed by glucose and induced by lactose. (13)C-nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of supernatants of BL232 resting cells demonstrated that, when pre-grown on lactose, cells were able to synthesize sorbitol from glucose. Inactivation of the l-lactate dehydrogenase gene in BL232 led to an increase in sorbitol production, suggesting that the engineered route provides an alternative pathway for NAD(+) regeneration.

  16. Tunable promoters in synthetic and systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehli, Tore; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2012-01-01

    for accomplishing such altered gene expression levels are discussed here along with examples of their use, and ideas for new tools are described. The road ahead looks very promising for synthetic and systems biologists as tools to achieve just about anything in terms of tuning and timing multiple gene expression...

  17. Biofuels and bio-based chemicals from lignocellulose: metabolic engineering strategies in strain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Rachel; Dou, Jennifer

    2016-02-01

    Interest in developing a sustainable technology for fuels and chemicals has unleashed tremendous creativity in metabolic engineering for strain development over the last few years. This is driven by the exceptionally recalcitrant substrate, lignocellulose, and the necessity to keep the costs down for commodity products. Traditional methods of gene expression and evolutionary engineering are more effectively used with the help of synthetic biology and -omics techniques. Compared to the last biomass research peak during the 1980s oil crisis, a more diverse range of microorganisms are being engineered for a greater variety of products, reflecting the broad applicability and effectiveness of today's gene technology. We review here several prominent and successful metabolic engineering strategies with emphasis on the following four areas: xylose catabolism, inhibitor tolerance, synthetic microbial consortium, and cellulosic oligomer assimilation.

  18. Ethical perception of synthetic biology | Amin | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modern biotechnology has moved forward by the introduction of the synthetic biology technique. By using synthetic biology, it is possible to construct mice genes in the laboratory and replace the need for the genes to be split out from the original animal. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the public in the Klang ...

  19. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications. PMID:25022769

  20. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  1. Alcohol dehydrogenase gene ADH3 activates glucose alcoholic fermentation in genetically engineered Dekkera bruxellensis yeast

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schifferdecker, Anna Judith; Siurkus, Juozas; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam

    2016-01-01

    Dekkera bruxellensis is a non-conventional Crabtree-positive yeast with a good ethanol production capability. Compared to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, its tolerance to acidic pH and its utilization of alternative carbon sources make it a promising organism for producing biofuel. In this study, we de......, respectively. The overexpression of ADH3 in D. bruxellensis also reduced the inhibition of fermentation by anaerobiosis, the "Custer effect". Thus, the fermentative capacity of D. bruxellensis could be further improved by metabolic engineering....

  2. [SYNTHETIC PEPTIDE VACCINES].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeyev, O V; Barinsky, I F

    2016-01-01

    An update on the development and trials of synthetic peptide vaccines is reviewed. The review considers the successful examples of specific protection as a result of immunization with synthetic peptides using various protocols. The importance of conformation for the immunogenicity of the peptide is pointed out. An alternative strategy of the protection of the organism against the infection using synthetic peptides is suggested.

  3. Beyond Gene Delivery: Strategies to Engineer the Surfaces of Viral Vectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristian Capasso

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Viral vectors have been extensively studied due to their great transduction efficiency compared to non-viral vectors. These vectors have been used extensively in gene therapy, enabling the comprehension of, not only the advantages of these vectors, but also the limitations, such as the activation of the immune system after vector administration. Moreover, the need to control the target of the vector has led to the development of chemical and non-chemical modifications of the vector surface, allowing researchers to modify the tropism and biodistribution profile of the vector, leading to the production of viral vectors able to target different tissues and organs. This review describes recent non-genetic modifications of the surfaces of viral vectors to decrease immune system activation and to control tissue targeting. The developments described herein provide opportunities for applications of gene therapy to treat acquired disorders and genetic diseases and to become useful tools in regenerative medicine.

  4. Engineering PFLOTRAN for Scalable Performance on Cray XT and IBM BlueGene Architectures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, Richard T [ORNL; Sripathi, Vamsi K [ORNL; Mahinthakumar, Gnanamanika [ORNL; Hammond, Glenn [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL); Lichtner, Peter [Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); Smith, Barry F [Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)

    2010-01-01

    We describe PFLOTRAN - a code for simulation of coupled hydro-thermal-chemical processes in variably saturated, non-isothermal, porous media - and the approaches we have employed to obtain scalable performance on some of the largest scale supercomputers in the world. We present detailed analyses of I/O and solver performance on Jaguar, the Cray XT5 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Intrepid, the IBM BlueGene/P at Argonne National Laboratory, that have guided our choice of algorithms.

  5. Beyond Gene Delivery: Strategies to Engineer the Surfaces of Viral Vectors

    OpenAIRE

    Capasso, Cristian; Hirvinen, Mari; Cerullo, Vincenzo

    2013-01-01

    Viral vectors have been extensively studied due to their great transduction efficiency compared to non-viral vectors. These vectors have been used extensively in gene therapy, enabling the comprehension of, not only the advantages of these vectors, but also the limitations, such as the activation of the immune system after vector administration. Moreover, the need to control the target of the vector has led to the development of chemical and non-chemical modifications of the vector surface, a...

  6. Application of an inducible system to engineer unmarked conditional mutants of essential genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morita, Yuji; Narita, Shin-ichiro; Tomida, Junko; Tokuda, Hajime; Kawamura, Yoshiaki

    2010-09-01

    The Phi CTX-based integration vector pYM101 harboring a tightly controlled modified phage T7 early gene promoter/LacI(q) repressor (T7/LacI) system was constructed for the generation of unmarked conditional mutants in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Promoter activity of the T7/LacI system was demonstrated to be dependent on the presence of the inducer isopropyl -beta-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG), as evaluated by measuring beta-galactosidase activity. In the absence of the inducer, the promoter was silent as its activity was lower than those of a promoter-less lacZ control. Unmarked conditional mutants of four predicted essential genes (lolCDE (PA2988-86), lpxC (PA4406), rho (PA5239), and def (PA0019)) were successfully constructed using this recombination system. In the absence of IPTG, the growth of all mutants was repressed; however, the addition of either 0.1 or 1mM IPTG restored growth rates to levels nearly identical to wild-type cells. It was therefore demonstrated that the inducible integration vector pYM101 is suitable for the creation of unmarked conditional mutants of P. aeruginosa, and is particularly useful for examining the function of essential genes. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A hybrid framework for reverse engineering of robust Gene Regulatory Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, Mina; Ghavami, Behnam; Sattari, Vahid

    2017-06-01

    The inference of Gene Regulatory Networks (GRNs) using gene expression data in order to detect the basic cellular processes is a key issue in biological systems. Inferring GRN correctly requires inferring predictor set accurately. In this paper, a fast and accurate predictor set inference framework which linearly combines some inference methods is proposed. The purpose of the combination of various methods is to increase the accuracy of inferred GRN. The proposed framework offers a linear weighted combination of Pearson Correlation Coefficient (PCC) and two different feature selection approaches, namely: Information Gain (IG) and ReliefF. In order to set the appropriate weights, Genetic Algorithm (GA) is used. Similarity measure is considered as fitness function to guide GA. At the end, based on the obtained weights, the best predictor set of GRN using three aforementioned inference methods is selected and the network topology is formed. Due to the huge volume of gene expression data, GRN inference algorithms should infer GRN at a reasonable runtime. Hence, a novel criterion is provided to evaluate GRNs based on runtime and accuracy. The simulation results using biological data indicate that the proposed framework is fast and more reliable compared to other recent methods [1-7]. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Systems and synthetic biology approaches to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalluri, Udaya C; Yin, Hengfu; Yang, Xiaohan; Davison, Brian H

    2014-12-01

    Fine-tuning plant cell wall properties to render plant biomass more amenable to biofuel conversion is a colossal challenge. A deep knowledge of the biosynthesis and regulation of plant cell wall and a high-precision genome engineering toolset are the two essential pillars of efforts to alter plant cell walls and reduce biomass recalcitrance. The past decade has seen a meteoric rise in use of transcriptomics and high-resolution imaging methods resulting in fresh insights into composition, structure, formation and deconstruction of plant cell walls. Subsequent gene manipulation approaches, however, commonly include ubiquitous mis-expression of a single candidate gene in a host that carries an intact copy of the native gene. The challenges posed by pleiotropic and unintended changes resulting from such an approach are moving the field towards synthetic biology approaches. Synthetic biology builds on a systems biology knowledge base and leverages high-precision tools for high-throughput assembly of multigene constructs and pathways, precision genome editing and site-specific gene stacking, silencing and/or removal. Here, we summarize the recent breakthroughs in biosynthesis and remodelling of major secondary cell wall components, assess the impediments in obtaining a systems-level understanding and explore the potential opportunities in leveraging synthetic biology approaches to reduce biomass recalcitrance. Published 2014. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Landscape infrastructure : urbanism beyond engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bélanger, P.

    2013-01-01

    As ecology becomes the new engineering, the project of Landscape Infrastructure - a contemporary, synthetic alignment of the disciplines of landscape architecture, civil engineering and urban planning - is proposed here. Predominant challenges facing urban regions today are addressed, including

  10. Advances in combining gene therapy with cell and tissue engineering-based approaches to enhance healing of the meniscus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucchiarini, M; McNulty, A L; Mauck, R L; Setton, L A; Guilak, F; Madry, H

    2016-08-01

    Meniscal lesions are common problems in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine, and injury or loss of the meniscus accelerates the onset of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Despite a variety of therapeutic options in the clinics, there is a critical need for improved treatments to enhance meniscal repair. In this regard, combining gene-, cell-, and tissue engineering-based approaches is an attractive strategy to generate novel, effective therapies to treat meniscal lesions. In the present work, we provide an overview of the tools currently available to improve meniscal repair and discuss the progress and remaining challenges for potential future translation in patients. Copyright © 2016 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Dienogest, a synthetic progestin, inhibits the proliferation of immortalized human endometrial epithelial cells with suppression of cyclin D1 gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Yutaka; Takeuchi, Takashi; Mita, Shizuka; Mizuguchi, Kiyoshi; Kiyono, Tohru; Inoue, Masaki; Kyo, Satoru

    2009-10-01

    Dienogest is a specific progesterone receptor agonist with potent oral endometrial activity and is used in the treatment of endometriosis. In this study, we examined the direct effects of dienogest on the proliferation of human endometrial epithelial cells using an immortalized cell line. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation into the cells was inhibited by dienogest and by progesterone (P(4)) in dose-dependent fashion at concentrations of 10(-8) mol/l or higher. To identify the target genes of dienogest and P(4), we screened the expression of 84 genes related to cell cycle regulation by real-time polymerase chain reaction after 6 h of treatment at a concentration of 10(-7) mol/l. Results showed that only cyclin D1 expression was significantly down-regulated, although expression of the other genes did not significantly change after dienogest or P(4) treatment compared with the control. In a time-course study during the first 24 h after drug treatment, dienogest and P(4) each produced a lasting decrease in the expression of cyclin D1 mRNA, followed by a decrease in cyclin E1 mRNA but not an increase in the expression of cell cycle inhibitor genes (p21, p27 and p53). These findings suggest that dienogest directly inhibits the proliferation of human endometrial epithelial cells with suppression of cyclin D1 gene expression.

  12. Efficiently engineered cell sheet using a complex of polyethylenimine–alginate nanocomposites plus bone morphogenetic protein 2 gene to promote new bone formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Han; Zhang, Kai; Qiao, Chunyan; Yuan, Anliang; Li, Daowei; Zhao, Liang; Shi, Ce; Xu, Xiaowei; Ni, Shilei; Zheng, Changyu; Liu, Xiaohua; Yang, Bai; Sun, Hongchen

    2014-01-01

    Regeneration of large bone defects is a common clinical problem. Recently, stem cell sheet has been an emerging strategy in bone tissue engineering. To enhance the osteogenic potential of stem cell sheet, we fabricated bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2) gene-engineered cell sheet using a complex of polyethylenimine–alginate (PEI–al) nanocomposites plus human BMP-2 complementary(c)DNA plasmid, and studied its osteogenesis in vitro and in vivo. PEI–al nanocomposites carrying BMP-2 gene could efficiently transfect bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. The cell sheet was made by culturing the cells in medium containing vitamin C for 10 days. Assays on the cell culture showed that the genetically engineered cells released the BMP-2 for at least 14 days. The expression of osteogenesis-related gene was increased, which demonstrated that released BMP-2 could effectively induce the cell sheet osteogenic differentiation in vitro. To further test the osteogenic potential of the cell sheet in vivo, enhanced green fluorescent protein or BMP-2-producing cell sheets were treated on the cranial bone defects. The results indicated that the BMP-2-producing cell sheet group was more efficient than other groups in promoting bone formation in the defect area. Our results suggested that PEI–al nanocomposites efficiently deliver the BMP-2 gene to bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells and that BMP-2 gene-engineered cell sheet is an effective way for promoting bone regeneration. PMID:24855355

  13. Engineering membrane proteins for nuclear medicine. Applications for gene therapy and cell tracking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogdanov Jr, A.A.; Simonova, M.; Weissleder, R.

    2000-01-01

    Nuclear imaging techniques such as PET and SPECT imaging are expected to play major roles in evaluating the efficacy of in vivo gene therapy. In particular, the quantification of vector delivery and imaging the efficacy of gene expression are of key interests in testing new treatment paradigms and in designing novel vectors. In this review article it has been illustrated how nuclear imaging can be used to image novel cell-surface expressed fusion proteins and how this strategy can be used to probe for phenotypic changes in genetically manipulated cells. Since the described approach uses new fusion proteins, typically not present on eukaryotic cells, such as artificial receptors can be designed to bind radioisotopes currently in clinical use. The described fusion proteins consists of 1) a binding domain such as a peptide based chelator that binds 99mT c oxotechnetate and 2) a membrane anchoring domain. A variety of fusion proteins have been tested so far and the most promising one to date consists of a metallothionein (MT)-derived C-terminal peptide fused a type II membrane protein markers containing the N-terminal membrane anchoring domain of neutral endopeptidase (PEP). Cell-surface expression of MT in transfected cells has been demonstrated using monoclonal antibodies in vitro. Both in vitro and in vivo transchelation experiments have confirmed expression of 99mT c-binding sites in eukaryotic cells. It was expected the described approach to evolve into a useful strategy to tag transfected cells with 99mT c and thus assessing efficiency of gene delivery and expression

  14. A synthetic cryIC gene, encoding a Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxin, confers Spodoptera resistance in alfalfa and tobacco

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strizhov, N.; Keller, M.; Mathur, J.; Koncz-Kaiman, Z.; Bosch, D.; Prudovksy, E.; Schell, J.; Sneh, B.; Koncz, C.; Zilberstein, A.

    1996-01-01

    Spodoptera species, representing widespread polyphagous insect pests, are resistant to Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxins used thus far as insecticides in transgenic plants. Here we describe the chemical synthesis of a cryIC gene by a novel template directed ligation–PCR method. This simple and

  15. Differential expression of proteins and genes in the lag phase of Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis grown in synthetic medium and reconstituted skim milk

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, N.; Boye, Mette; Jakobsen, Marianne

    2006-01-01

    We investigated protein and gene expression in the lag phase of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis CNRZ 157 and compared it to the exponential and stationary phases. By means of two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, 28 highly expressed lag-phase proteins, implicated in nucleotide meta...

  16. Increasing galactose consumption by Saccharomyces cerevisiae through metabolic engineering of the GAL gene regulatory network

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Østergaard, Simon; Olsson, Lisbeth; Johnston, M.

    2000-01-01

    in the pathway, and ultimately, increasing metabolic flux through the pathway of interest, By manipulating the GAL gene regulatory network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a tightly regulated system, we produced prototroph mutant strains, which increased the flux through the galactose utilization pathway...... by eliminating three known negative regulators of the GAL system: Gale, Gal80, and Mig1. This led to a 41% increase in flux through the galactose utilization pathway compared with the wild-type strain. This is of significant interest within the field of biotechnology since galactose is present in many industrial...... media. The improved galactose consumption of the gal mutants did not favor biomass formation, but rather caused excessive respiro-fermentative metabolism, with the ethanol production rate increasing linearly with glycolytic flux....

  17. Linking genes to microbial growth kinetics: an integrated biochemical systems engineering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koutinas, Michalis; Kiparissides, Alexandros; Silva-Rocha, Rafael; Lam, Ming-Chi; Martins Dos Santos, Vitor A P; de Lorenzo, Victor; Pistikopoulos, Efstratios N; Mantalaris, Athanasios

    2011-07-01

    The majority of models describing the kinetic properties of a microorganism for a given substrate are unstructured and empirical. They are formulated in this manner so that the complex mechanism of cell growth is simplified. Herein, a novel approach for modelling microbial growth kinetics is proposed, linking biomass growth and substrate consumption rates to the gene regulatory programmes that control these processes. A dynamic model of the TOL (pWW0) plasmid of Pseudomonas putida mt-2 has been developed, describing the molecular interactions that lead to the transcription of the upper and meta operons, known to produce the enzymes for the oxidative catabolism of m-xylene. The genetic circuit model was combined with a growth kinetic model decoupling biomass growth and substrate consumption rates, which are expressed as independent functions of the rate-limiting enzymes produced by the operons. Estimation of model parameters and validation of the model's predictive capability were successfully performed in batch cultures of mt-2 fed with different concentrations of m-xylene, as confirmed by relative mRNA concentration measurements of the promoters encoded in TOL. The growth formation and substrate utilisation patterns could not be accurately described by traditional Monod-type models for a wide range of conditions, demonstrating the critical importance of gene regulation for the development of advanced models closely predicting complex bioprocesses. In contrast, the proposed strategy, which utilises quantitative information pertaining to upstream molecular events that control the production of rate-limiting enzymes, predicts the catabolism of a substrate and biomass formation and could be of central importance for the design of optimal bioprocesses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Computational Analysis and Low-Scale Constitutive Expression of Laccases Synthetic Genes GlLCC1 from Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B from Pleurotus ostreatus in Pichia pastoris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Guzmán, Edwin Alfredo; Poutou-Piñales, Raúl A.; Reyes-Montaño, Edgar Antonio; Pedroza-Rodríguez, Aura Marina; Rodríguez-Vázquez, Refugio; Cardozo-Bernal, Ángela M.

    2015-01-01

    Lacasses are multicopper oxidases that can catalyze aromatic and non-aromatic compounds concomitantly with reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Fungal laccases have generated a growing interest due to their biotechnological potential applications, such as lignocellulosic material delignification, biopulping and biobleaching, wastewater treatment, and transformation of toxic organic pollutants. In this work we selected fungal genes encoding for laccase enzymes GlLCC1 in Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B in Pleurotus ostreatus. These genes were optimized for codon use, GC content, and regions generating secondary structures. Laccase proposed computational models, and their interaction with ABTS [2, 2′-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)] substrate was evaluated by molecular docking. Synthetic genes were cloned under the control of Pichia pastoris glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAP) constitutive promoter. P. pastoris X-33 was transformed with pGAPZαA-LaccGluc-Stop and pGAPZαA-LaccPost-Stop constructs. Optimization reduced GC content by 47 and 49% for LaccGluc-Stop and LaccPost-Stop genes, respectively. A codon adaptation index of 0.84 was obtained for both genes. 3D structure analysis using SuperPose revealed LaccGluc-Stop is similar to the laccase crystallographic structure 1GYC of Trametes versicolor. Interaction analysis of the 3D models validated through ABTS, demonstrated higher substrate affinity for LaccPost-Stop, in agreement with our experimental results with enzymatic activities of 451.08 ± 6.46 UL-1 compared to activities of 0.13 ± 0.028 UL-1 for LaccGluc-Stop. This study demonstrated that G. lucidum GlLCC1 and P. ostreatus POXA 1B gene optimization resulted in constitutive gene expression under GAP promoter and α-factor leader in P. pastoris. These are important findings in light of recombinant enzyme expression system utility for environmentally friendly designed expression systems, because of the wide range of substrates

  19. Computational analysis and low-scale constitutive expression of laccases synthetic genes GlLCC1 from Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B from Pleurotus ostreatus in Pichia pastoris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera-Hoyos, Claudia M; Morales-Álvarez, Edwin David; Poveda-Cuevas, Sergio Alejandro; Reyes-Guzmán, Edwin Alfredo; Poutou-Piñales, Raúl A; Reyes-Montaño, Edgar Antonio; Pedroza-Rodríguez, Aura Marina; Rodríguez-Vázquez, Refugio; Cardozo-Bernal, Ángela M

    2015-01-01

    Lacasses are multicopper oxidases that can catalyze aromatic and non-aromatic compounds concomitantly with reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Fungal laccases have generated a growing interest due to their biotechnological potential applications, such as lignocellulosic material delignification, biopulping and biobleaching, wastewater treatment, and transformation of toxic organic pollutants. In this work we selected fungal genes encoding for laccase enzymes GlLCC1 in Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B in Pleurotus ostreatus. These genes were optimized for codon use, GC content, and regions generating secondary structures. Laccase proposed computational models, and their interaction with ABTS [2, 2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid)] substrate was evaluated by molecular docking. Synthetic genes were cloned under the control of Pichia pastoris glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAP) constitutive promoter. P. pastoris X-33 was transformed with pGAPZαA-LaccGluc-Stop and pGAPZαA-LaccPost-Stop constructs. Optimization reduced GC content by 47 and 49% for LaccGluc-Stop and LaccPost-Stop genes, respectively. A codon adaptation index of 0.84 was obtained for both genes. 3D structure analysis using SuperPose revealed LaccGluc-Stop is similar to the laccase crystallographic structure 1GYC of Trametes versicolor. Interaction analysis of the 3D models validated through ABTS, demonstrated higher substrate affinity for LaccPost-Stop, in agreement with our experimental results with enzymatic activities of 451.08 ± 6.46 UL-1 compared to activities of 0.13 ± 0.028 UL-1 for LaccGluc-Stop. This study demonstrated that G. lucidum GlLCC1 and P. ostreatus POXA 1B gene optimization resulted in constitutive gene expression under GAP promoter and α-factor leader in P. pastoris. These are important findings in light of recombinant enzyme expression system utility for environmentally friendly designed expression systems, because of the wide range of substrates

  20. Computational analysis and low-scale constitutive expression of laccases synthetic genes GlLCC1 from Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B from Pleurotus ostreatus in Pichia pastoris.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia M Rivera-Hoyos

    Full Text Available Lacasses are multicopper oxidases that can catalyze aromatic and non-aromatic compounds concomitantly with reduction of molecular oxygen to water. Fungal laccases have generated a growing interest due to their biotechnological potential applications, such as lignocellulosic material delignification, biopulping and biobleaching, wastewater treatment, and transformation of toxic organic pollutants. In this work we selected fungal genes encoding for laccase enzymes GlLCC1 in Ganoderma lucidum and POXA 1B in Pleurotus ostreatus. These genes were optimized for codon use, GC content, and regions generating secondary structures. Laccase proposed computational models, and their interaction with ABTS [2, 2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid] substrate was evaluated by molecular docking. Synthetic genes were cloned under the control of Pichia pastoris glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAP constitutive promoter. P. pastoris X-33 was transformed with pGAPZαA-LaccGluc-Stop and pGAPZαA-LaccPost-Stop constructs. Optimization reduced GC content by 47 and 49% for LaccGluc-Stop and LaccPost-Stop genes, respectively. A codon adaptation index of 0.84 was obtained for both genes. 3D structure analysis using SuperPose revealed LaccGluc-Stop is similar to the laccase crystallographic structure 1GYC of Trametes versicolor. Interaction analysis of the 3D models validated through ABTS, demonstrated higher substrate affinity for LaccPost-Stop, in agreement with our experimental results with enzymatic activities of 451.08 ± 6.46 UL-1 compared to activities of 0.13 ± 0.028 UL-1 for LaccGluc-Stop. This study demonstrated that G. lucidum GlLCC1 and P. ostreatus POXA 1B gene optimization resulted in constitutive gene expression under GAP promoter and α-factor leader in P. pastoris. These are important findings in light of recombinant enzyme expression system utility for environmentally friendly designed expression systems, because of the wide range

  1. Synthetic biology of fungal natural products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattern, Derek J.; Valiante, Vito; Unkles, Shiela E.; Brakhage, Axel A.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an ever-expanding field in science, also encompassing the research area of fungal natural product (NP) discovery and production. Until now, different aspects of synthetic biology have been covered in fungal NP studies from the manipulation of different regulatory elements and heterologous expression of biosynthetic pathways to the engineering of different multidomain biosynthetic enzymes such as polyketide synthases or non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. The following review will cover some of the exemplary studies of synthetic biology in filamentous fungi showing the capacity of these eukaryotes to be used as model organisms in the field. From the vast array of different NPs produced to the ease for genetic manipulation, filamentous fungi have proven to be an invaluable source for the further development of synthetic biology tools. PMID:26284053

  2. Incorporating comparative genomics into the design-test-learn cycle of microbial strain engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sardi, Maria; Gasch, Audrey P

    2017-08-01

    Engineering microbes with new properties is an important goal in industrial engineering, to establish biological factories for production of biofuels, commodity chemicals and pharmaceutics. But engineering microbes to produce new compounds with high yield remains a major challenge toward economically viable production. Incorporating several modern approaches, including synthetic and systems biology, metabolic modeling and regulatory rewiring, has proven to significantly advance industrial strain engineering. This review highlights how comparative genomics can also facilitate strain engineering, by identifying novel genes and pathways, regulatory mechanisms and genetic background effects for engineering. We discuss how incorporating comparative genomics into the design-test-learn cycle of strain engineering can provide novel information that complements other engineering strategies. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Tuning the dials of Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arpino, James A. J.; Hancock, Edward J.; Anderson, James; Barahona, Mauricio; Stan, Guy-Bart V.; Polizzi, Karen

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is the ‘Engineering of Biology’ – it aims to use a forward-engineering design cycle based on specifications, modelling, analysis, experimental implementation, testing and validation to modify natural or design new, synthetic biology systems so that they behave in a predictable fashion. Motivated by the need for truly plug-and-play synthetic biological components, we present a comprehensive review of ways in which the various parts of a biological system can be modified systematically. In particular, we review the list of ‘dials’ that are available to the designer and discuss how they can be modelled, tuned and implemented. The dials are categorized according to whether they operate at the global, transcriptional, translational or post-translational level and the resolution that they operate at. We end this review with a discussion on the relative advantages and disadvantages of some dials over others. PMID:23704788

  4. Engineering NV centres in Synthetic Diamond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matthew Markham

    2014-01-01

    The quantum properties of the nitrogen vacancy (NV) centre in diamond has prompted rapid growth in diamond research. This initial growth was driven by the fact the NV centre provides an 'easy' to manipulate quantum system along with opening up the possibility of a new material to deliver a solid state quantum computer. The NV defect is now moving from a quantum curiosity to a commercial development platform for a range of application such as as gyroscopes, timing and magnetometry as well as the more traditional quantum technologies such as quantum encryption and quantum simulation. These technologies are pushing the development needs of the material, and the processing of that material. The paper will describes the advances in CVD diamond synthesis with special attention to getting NV defects close to the surface of the diamond and how to process the material for diamond quantum optical applications. (author)

  5. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Green synthetic route for ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    GDY13

    Green synthetic route for perfumery compound (2-methoxyethyl) benzene using. Li/MgO catalyst. POOJA R TAMBE and ... A mixture containing fuel and oxidizer was taken in a silica crucible and heated to form highly .... Fogler H 1995 Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering 2nd edn. Prentice-Hall,. New Delhi, India. (3).

  6. News: Synthetic biology leading to specialty chemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Synthetic biology can combine the disciplines of biology, engineering, and chemistry productively to form molecules of great scientific and commercial value. Recent advances in the new field are explored for their connection to new tools that have been used to elucidate productio...

  7. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental too