WorldWideScience

Sample records for synthetic gene engineering

  1. Genome engineering using a synthetic gene circuit in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Da-Eun; Park, Seung-Hwan; Pan, Jae-Gu; Kim, Eui-Joong; Choi, Soo-Keun

    2015-03-31

    Genome engineering without leaving foreign DNA behind requires an efficient counter-selectable marker system. Here, we developed a genome engineering method in Bacillus subtilis using a synthetic gene circuit as a counter-selectable marker system. The system contained two repressible promoters (B. subtilis xylA (Pxyl) and spac (Pspac)) and two repressor genes (lacI and xylR). Pxyl-lacI was integrated into the B. subtilis genome with a target gene containing a desired mutation. The xylR and Pspac-chloramphenicol resistant genes (cat) were located on a helper plasmid. In the presence of xylose, repression of XylR by xylose induced LacI expression, the LacIs repressed the Pspac promoter and the cells become chloramphenicol sensitive. Thus, to survive in the presence of chloramphenicol, the cell must delete Pxyl-lacI by recombination between the wild-type and mutated target genes. The recombination leads to mutation of the target gene. The remaining helper plasmid was removed easily under the chloramphenicol absent condition. In this study, we showed base insertion, deletion and point mutation of the B. subtilis genome without leaving any foreign DNA behind. Additionally, we successfully deleted a 2-kb gene (amyE) and a 38-kb operon (ppsABCDE). This method will be useful to construct designer Bacillus strains for various industrial applications. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  2. Combined protein construct and synthetic gene engineering for heterologous protein expression and crystallization using Gene Composer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walchli John

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the goal of improving yield and success rates of heterologous protein production for structural studies we have developed the database and algorithm software package Gene Composer. This freely available electronic tool facilitates the information-rich design of protein constructs and their engineered synthetic gene sequences, as detailed in the accompanying manuscript. Results In this report, we compare heterologous protein expression levels from native sequences to that of codon engineered synthetic gene constructs designed by Gene Composer. A test set of proteins including a human kinase (P38α, viral polymerase (HCV NS5B, and bacterial structural protein (FtsZ were expressed in both E. coli and a cell-free wheat germ translation system. We also compare the protein expression levels in E. coli for a set of 11 different proteins with greatly varied G:C content and codon bias. Conclusion The results consistently demonstrate that protein yields from codon engineered Gene Composer designs are as good as or better than those achieved from the synonymous native genes. Moreover, structure guided N- and C-terminal deletion constructs designed with the aid of Gene Composer can lead to greater success in gene to structure work as exemplified by the X-ray crystallographic structure determination of FtsZ from Bacillus subtilis. These results validate the Gene Composer algorithms, and suggest that using a combination of synthetic gene and protein construct engineering tools can improve the economics of gene to structure research.

  3. 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.

  4. Engineering synthetic TALE and CRISPR/Cas9 transcription factors for regulating gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabadi, Ami M; Gersbach, Charles A

    2014-09-01

    Engineered DNA-binding proteins that can be targeted to specific sites in the genome to manipulate gene expression have enabled many advances in biomedical research. This includes generating tools to study fundamental aspects of gene regulation and the development of a new class of gene therapies that alter the expression of endogenous genes. Designed transcription factors have entered clinical trials for the treatment of human diseases and others are in preclinical development. High-throughput and user-friendly platforms for designing synthetic DNA-binding proteins present innovative methods for deciphering cell biology and designing custom synthetic gene circuits. We review two platforms for designing synthetic transcription factors for manipulating gene expression: Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) and the RNA-guided clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 system. We present an overview of each technology and a guide for designing and assembling custom TALE- and CRISPR/Cas9-based transcription factors. We also discuss characteristics of each platform that are best suited for different applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Reverse engineering validation using a benchmark synthetic gene circuit in human cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Taek; White, Jacob T; Xie, Zhen; Benenson, Yaakov; Sontag, Eduardo; Bleris, Leonidas

    2013-05-17

    Multicomponent biological networks are often understood incompletely, in large part due to the lack of reliable and robust methodologies for network reverse engineering and characterization. As a consequence, developing automated and rigorously validated methodologies for unraveling the complexity of biomolecular networks in human cells remains a central challenge to life scientists and engineers. Today, when it comes to experimental and analytical requirements, there exists a great deal of diversity in reverse engineering methods, which renders the independent validation and comparison of their predictive capabilities difficult. In this work we introduce an experimental platform customized for the development and verification of reverse engineering and pathway characterization algorithms in mammalian cells. Specifically, we stably integrate a synthetic gene network in human kidney cells and use it as a benchmark for validating reverse engineering methodologies. The network, which is orthogonal to endogenous cellular signaling, contains a small set of regulatory interactions that can be used to quantify the reconstruction performance. By performing successive perturbations to each modular component of the network and comparing protein and RNA measurements, we study the conditions under which we can reliably reconstruct the causal relationships of the integrated synthetic network.

  6. 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.

  7. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Jamie A; Cachat, Elise

    2016-06-15

    Classical tissue engineering is aimed mainly at producing anatomically and physiologically realistic replacements for normal human tissues. It is done either by encouraging cellular colonization of manufactured matrices or cellular recolonization of decellularized natural extracellular matrices from donor organs, or by allowing cells to self-organize into organs as they do during fetal life. For repair of normal bodies, this will be adequate but there are reasons for making unusual, non-evolved tissues (repair of unusual bodies, interface to electromechanical prostheses, incorporating living cells into life-support machines). Synthetic biology is aimed mainly at engineering cells so that they can perform custom functions: applying synthetic biological approaches to tissue engineering may be one way of engineering custom structures. In this article, we outline the 'embryological cycle' of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis and review progress that has been made in constructing synthetic biological systems to reproduce these processes in new ways. The state-of-the-art remains a long way from making truly synthetic tissues, but there are now at least foundations for future work. © 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  8. [Smart therapeutics based on synthetic gene circuits].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Shuguang; Xie, Zhen

    2017-03-25

    Synthetic biology has an important impact on biology research since its birth. Applying the thought and methods that reference from electrical engineering, synthetic biology uncovers many regulatory mechanisms of life systems, transforms and expands a series of biological components. Therefore, it brings a wide range of biomedical applications, including providing new ideas for disease diagnosis and treatment. This review describes the latest advances in the field of disease diagnosis and therapy based on mammalian cell or bacterial synthetic gene circuits, and provides new ideas for future smart therapy design.

  9. 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.

  10. Synthetic biology: engineering molecular computers

    CERN Multimedia

    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...

  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. 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.

  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

    2014-11-06

    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 an alternate, versatile 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.

  14. 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

  15. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Generation of dTALEs and Libraries of Synthetic TALE-Activated Promoters for Engineering of Gene Regulatory Networks in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Tom; Tissier, Alain

    2017-01-01

    Transcription factors with programmable DNA-binding specificity constitute valuable tools for the design of orthogonal gene regulatory networks for synthetic biology. Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs), as natural transcription regulators, were used to design, build, and test libraries of synthetic TALE-activated promoters (STAPs) that show a broad range of expression levels in plants. In this chapter, we present protocols for the construction of artificial TALEs and corresponding STAPs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Accurate, model-based tuning of synthetic gene expression using introns in S. cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ido Yofe

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Introns are key regulators of eukaryotic gene expression and present a potentially powerful tool for the design of synthetic eukaryotic gene expression systems. However, intronic control over gene expression is governed by a multitude of complex, incompletely understood, regulatory mechanisms. Despite this lack of detailed mechanistic understanding, here we show how a relatively simple model enables accurate and predictable tuning of synthetic gene expression system in yeast using several predictive intron features such as transcript folding and sequence motifs. Using only natural Saccharomyces cerevisiae introns as regulators, we demonstrate fine and accurate control over gene expression spanning a 100 fold expression range. These results broaden the engineering toolbox of synthetic gene expression systems and provide a framework in which precise and robust tuning of gene expression is accomplished.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    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....

  10. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    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.

  11. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:24222925

  12. 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.

  13. Engineering a palette of eukaryotic chromoproteins for bacterial synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljeruhm, Josefine; Funk, Saskia K; Tietscher, Sandra; Edlund, Anders D; Jamal, Sabri; Wistrand-Yuen, Pikkei; Dyrhage, Karl; Gynnå, Arvid; Ivermark, Katarina; Lövgren, Jessica; Törnblom, Viktor; Virtanen, Anders; Lundin, Erik R; Wistrand-Yuen, Erik; Forster, Anthony C

    2018-01-01

    Coral reefs are colored by eukaryotic chromoproteins (CPs) that are homologous to green fluorescent protein. CPs differ from fluorescent proteins (FPs) by intensely absorbing visible light to give strong colors in ambient light. This endows CPs with certain advantages over FPs, such as instrument-free detection uncomplicated by ultra-violet light damage or background fluorescence, efficient Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) quenching, and photoacoustic imaging. Thus, CPs have found utility as genetic markers and in teaching, and are attractive for potential cell biosensor applications in the field. Most near-term applications of CPs require expression in a different domain of life: bacteria. However, it is unclear which of the eukaryotic CP genes might be suitable and how best to assay them. Here, taking advantage of codon optimization programs in 12 cases, we engineered 14 CP sequences (meffRed, eforRed, asPink, spisPink, scOrange, fwYellow, amilGFP, amajLime, cjBlue, meffBlue, aeBlue, amilCP, tsPurple and gfasPurple) into a palette of Escherichia coli BioBrick plasmids. BioBricks comply with synthetic biology's most widely used, simplified, cloning standard. Differences in color intensities, maturation times and fitness costs of expression were compared under the same conditions, and visible readout of gene expression was quantitated. A surprisingly large variation in cellular fitness costs was found, resulting in loss of color in some overnight liquid cultures of certain high-copy-plasmid-borne CPs, and cautioning the use of multiple CPs as markers in competition assays. We solved these two problems by integrating pairs of these genes into the chromosome and by engineering versions of the same CP with very different colors. Availability of 14 engineered CP genes compared in E. coli , together with chromosomal mutants suitable for competition assays, should simplify and expand CP study and applications. There was no single plasmid-borne CP that combined

  14. Genome Engineering and Modification Toward Synthetic Biology for the Production of Antibiotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Xuan; Wang, Lianrong; Li, Zhiqiang; Luo, Jie; Wang, Yunfu; Deng, Zixin; Du, Shiming; Chen, Shi

    2018-01-01

    Antibiotic production is often governed by large gene clusters composed of genes related to antibiotic scaffold synthesis, tailoring, regulation, and resistance. With the expansion of genome sequencing, a considerable number of antibiotic gene clusters has been isolated and characterized. The emerging genome engineering techniques make it possible towards more efficient engineering of antibiotics. In addition to genomic editing, multiple synthetic biology approaches have been developed for the exploration and improvement of antibiotic natural products. Here, we review the progress in the development of these genome editing techniques used to engineer new antibiotics, focusing on three aspects of genome engineering: direct cloning of large genomic fragments, genome engineering of gene clusters, and regulation of gene cluster expression. This review will not only summarize the current uses of genomic engineering techniques for cloning and assembly of antibiotic gene clusters or for altering antibiotic synthetic pathways but will also provide perspectives on the future directions of rebuilding biological systems for the design of novel antibiotics. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laganà, Alessandro [Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (United States); Shasha, Dennis [Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University, New York, NY (United States); Croce, Carlo Maria [Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics, Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (United States)

    2014-12-11

    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.

  20. Engineering photosynthesis in plants and synthetic microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurino, Veronica G; Weber, Andreas P M

    2013-01-01

    Photosynthetic organisms, such as cyanobacteria, algae, and plants, sustain life on earth by converting light energy, water, and CO(2) into chemical energy. However, due to global change and a growing human population, arable land is becoming scarce and resources, including water and fertilizers, are becoming exhausted. It will therefore be crucial to design innovative strategies for sustainable plant production to maintain the food and energy bases of human civilization. Several different strategies for engineering improved photosynthesis in crop plants and introducing novel photosynthetic capacity into microorganisms have been reviewed.

  1. Synthetic promoter libraries- tuning of gene expression

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    knockout and strong overexpression. However, applications such as metabolic optimization and control analysis necessitate a continuous set of expression levels with only slight increments in strength to cover a specific window around the wildtype expression level of the studied gene; this requirement can......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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Queueing-Based Synchronization and Entrainment for Synthetic Gene Oscillators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, William; Butzin, Nicholas; Hochendoner, Philip; Ogle, Curtis

    Synthetic gene oscillators have been a major focus of synthetic biology research since the beginning of the field 15 years ago. They have proven to be useful both for biotechnological applications as well as a testing ground to significantly develop our understanding of the design principles behind synthetic and native gene oscillators. In particular, the principles governing synchronization and entrainment of biological oscillators have been explored using a synthetic biology approach. Our work combines experimental and theoretical approaches to specifically investigate how a bottleneck for protein degradation, which is present in most if not all existing synthetic oscillators, can be leveraged to robustly synchronize and entrain biological oscillators. We use both the terminology and mathematical tools of queueing theory to intuitively explain the role of this bottleneck in both synchronization and entrainment, which extends prior work demonstrating the usefulness of queueing theory in synthetic and native gene circuits. We conclude with an investigation of how synchronization and entrainment may be sensitive to the presence of multiple proteolytic pathways in a cell that couple weakly through crosstalk. This work was supported by NSF Grant #1330180.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biophysical Constraints Arising from Compositional Context in Synthetic Gene Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Enoch; Dy, Aaron J; Martin, Kyle B; Ng, Andrew H; Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Beck, James L; Collins, James J; Murray, Richard M

    2017-07-26

    Synthetic gene expression is highly sensitive to intragenic compositional context (promoter structure, spacing regions between promoter and coding sequences, and ribosome binding sites). However, much less is known about the effects of intergenic compositional context (spatial arrangement and orientation of entire genes on DNA) on expression levels in synthetic gene networks. We compare expression of induced genes arranged in convergent, divergent, or tandem orientations. Induction of convergent genes yielded up to 400% higher expression, greater ultrasensitivity, and dynamic range than divergent- or tandem-oriented genes. Orientation affects gene expression whether one or both genes are induced. We postulate that transcriptional interference in divergent and tandem genes, mediated by supercoiling, can explain differences in expression and validate this hypothesis through modeling and in vitro supercoiling relaxation experiments. Treatment with gyrase abrogated intergenic context effects, bringing expression levels within 30% of each other. We rebuilt the toggle switch with convergent genes, taking advantage of supercoiling effects to improve threshold detection and switch stability. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Synthetic constructs in/for the environment: managing the interplay between natural and engineered Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Markus; de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2012-07-16

    The plausible release of deeply engineered or even entirely synthetic/artificial microorganisms raises the issue of their intentional (e.g. bioremediation) or accidental interaction with the Environment. Containment systems designed in the 1980s-1990s for limiting the spread of genetically engineered bacteria and their recombinant traits are still applicable to contemporary Synthetic Biology constructs. Yet, the ease of DNA synthesis and the uncertainty on how non-natural properties and strains could interplay with the existing biological word poses yet again the challenge of designing safe and efficacious firewalls to curtail possible interactions. Such barriers may include xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs) instead of DNA as information-bearing molecules, rewriting the genetic code to make it non-understandable by the existing gene expression machineries, and/or making growth dependent on xenobiotic chemicals. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Terminator Operon Reporter: combining a transcription termination switch with reporter technology for improved gene synthesis and synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zampini, Massimiliano; Mur, Luis A J; Rees Stevens, Pauline; Pachebat, Justin A; Newbold, C James; Hayes, Finbarr; Kingston-Smith, Alison

    2016-05-25

    Synthetic biology is characterized by the development of novel and powerful DNA fabrication methods and by the application of engineering principles to biology. The current study describes Terminator Operon Reporter (TOR), a new gene assembly technology based on the conditional activation of a reporter gene in response to sequence errors occurring at the assembly stage of the synthetic element. These errors are monitored by a transcription terminator that is placed between the synthetic gene and reporter gene. Switching of this terminator between active and inactive states dictates the transcription status of the downstream reporter gene to provide a rapid and facile readout of the accuracy of synthetic assembly. Designed specifically and uniquely for the synthesis of protein coding genes in bacteria, TOR allows the rapid and cost-effective fabrication of synthetic constructs by employing oligonucleotides at the most basic purification level (desalted) and without the need for costly and time-consuming post-synthesis correction methods. Thus, TOR streamlines gene assembly approaches, which are central to the future development of synthetic biology.

  16. 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.

  17. Computational Tools and Algorithms for Designing Customized Synthetic Genes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gould, Nathan [Department of Computer Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ (United States); Hendy, Oliver [Department of Biology, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ (United States); Papamichail, Dimitris, E-mail: papamicd@tcnj.edu [Department of Computer Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ (United States)

    2014-10-06

    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.

  18. Computational Tools and Algorithms for Designing Customized Synthetic Genes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gould, Nathan; Hendy, Oliver; Papamichail, Dimitris

    2014-01-01

    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.

  19. A mammalianized synthetic nitroreductase gene for high-level expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grohmann, Maik; Paulmann, Nils; Fleischhauer, Sebastian; Vowinckel, Jakob; Priller, Josef; Walther, Diego J

    2009-01-01

    The nitroreductase/5-(azaridin-1-yl)-2,4-dinitrobenzamide (NTR/CB1954) enzyme/prodrug system is considered as a promising candidate for anti-cancer strategies by gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) and has recently entered clinical trials. It requires the genetic modification of tumor cells to express the E. coli enzyme nitroreductase that bioactivates the prodrug CB1954 to a powerful cytotoxin. This metabolite causes apoptotic cell death by DNA interstrand crosslinking. Enhancing the enzymatic NTR activity for CB1954 should improve the therapeutical potential of this enzyme-prodrug combination in cancer gene therapy. We performed de novo synthesis of the bacterial nitroreductase gene adapting codon usage to mammalian preferences. The synthetic gene was investigated for its expression efficacy and ability to sensitize mammalian cells to CB1954 using western blotting analysis and cytotoxicity assays. In our study, we detected cytoplasmic protein aggregates by expressing GFP-tagged NTR in COS-7 cells, suggesting an impaired translation by divergent codon usage between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Therefore, we generated a synthetic variant of the nitroreductase gene, called ntro, adapted for high-level expression in mammalian cells. A total of 144 silent base substitutions were made within the bacterial ntr gene to change its codon usage to mammalian preferences. The codon-optimized ntro either tagged to gfp or c-myc showed higher expression levels in mammalian cell lines. Furthermore, the ntro rendered several cell lines ten times more sensitive to the prodrug CB1954 and also resulted in an improved bystander effect. Our results show that codon optimization overcomes expression limitations of the bacterial ntr gene in mammalian cells, thereby improving the NTR/CB1954 system at translational level for cancer gene therapy in humans

  20. Design parameters to control synthetic gene expression in Escherichia coli.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Welch

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Production of proteins as therapeutic agents, research reagents and molecular tools frequently depends on expression in heterologous hosts. Synthetic genes are increasingly used for protein production because sequence information is easier to obtain than the corresponding physical DNA. Protein-coding sequences are commonly re-designed to enhance expression, but there are no experimentally supported design principles. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To identify sequence features that affect protein expression we synthesized and expressed in E. coli two sets of 40 genes encoding two commercially valuable proteins, a DNA polymerase and a single chain antibody. Genes differing only in synonymous codon usage expressed protein at levels ranging from undetectable to 30% of cellular protein. Using partial least squares regression we tested the correlation of protein production levels with parameters that have been reported to affect expression. We found that the amount of protein produced in E. coli was strongly dependent on the codons used to encode a subset of amino acids. Favorable codons were predominantly those read by tRNAs that are most highly charged during amino acid starvation, not codons that are most abundant in highly expressed E. coli proteins. Finally we confirmed the validity of our models by designing, synthesizing and testing new genes using codon biases predicted to perform well. CONCLUSION: The systematic analysis of gene design parameters shown in this study has allowed us to identify codon usage within a gene as a critical determinant of achievable protein expression levels in E. coli. We propose a biochemical basis for this, as well as design algorithms to ensure high protein production from synthetic genes. Replication of this methodology should allow similar design algorithms to be empirically derived for any expression system.

  1. 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.

  2. Rapid and accurate synthesis of TALE genes from synthetic oligonucleotides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fenghua; Zhang, Hefei; Gao, Jingxia; Chen, Fengjiao; Chen, Sijie; Zhang, Cuizhen; Peng, Gang

    2016-01-01

    Custom synthesis of transcription activator-like effector (TALE) genes has relied upon plasmid libraries of pre-fabricated TALE-repeat monomers or oligomers. Here we describe a novel synthesis method that directly incorporates annealed synthetic oligonucleotides into the TALE-repeat units. Our approach utilizes iterative sets of oligonucleotides and a translational frame check strategy to ensure the high efficiency and accuracy of TALE-gene synthesis. TALE arrays of more than 20 repeats can be constructed, and the majority of the synthesized constructs have perfect sequences. In addition, this novel oligonucleotide-based method can readily accommodate design changes to the TALE repeats. We demonstrated an increased gene targeting efficiency against a genomic site containing a potentially methylated cytosine by incorporating non-conventional repeat variable di-residue (RVD) sequences.

  3. 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 ∼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. PMID:19015540

  4. Synthetic biology approaches to engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Christian; Oldroyd, Giles E D

    2014-05-01

    Nitrogen is abundant in the earth's atmosphere but, unlike carbon, cannot be directly assimilated by plants. The limitation this places on plant productivity has been circumvented in contemporary agriculture through the production and application of chemical fertilizers. The chemical reduction of nitrogen for this purpose consumes large amounts of energy and the reactive nitrogen released into the environment as a result of fertilizer application leads to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as widespread eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. The environmental impacts are intensified by injudicious use of fertilizers in many parts of the world. Simultaneously, limitations in the production and supply of chemical fertilizers in other regions are leading to low agricultural productivity and malnutrition. Nitrogen can be directly fixed from the atmosphere by some bacteria and Archaea, which possess the enzyme nitrogenase. Some plant species, most notably legumes, have evolved close symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Engineering cereal crops with the capability to fix their own nitrogen could one day address the problems created by the over- and under-use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. This could be achieved either by expression of a functional nitrogenase enzyme in the cells of the cereal crop or through transferring the capability to form a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. While potentially transformative, these biotechnological approaches are challenging; however, with recent advances in synthetic biology they are viable long-term goals. This review discusses the possibility of these biotechnological solutions to the nitrogen problem, focusing on engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

  5. 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.

  6. Bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology: combating pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Malathy; Moore, Richard T; Rajamani, Sathish; Panchal, Rekha G

    2016-11-04

    The emergence and prevalence of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria poses a serious threat to human and animal health globally. Nosocomial infections and common ailments such as pneumonia, wound, urinary tract, and bloodstream infections are becoming more challenging to treat due to the rapid spread of MDR pathogenic bacteria. According to recent reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an unprecedented increase in the occurrence of MDR infections worldwide. The rise in these infections has generated an economic strain worldwide, prompting the WHO to endorse a global action plan to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance. This health crisis necessitates an immediate action to target the underlying mechanisms of drug resistance in bacteria. The advent of new bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology (SB) tools is providing promising diagnostic and treatment plans to monitor and treat widespread recalcitrant bacterial infections. Key advances in genetic engineering approaches can successfully aid in targeting and editing pathogenic bacterial genomes for understanding and mitigating drug resistance mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the application of specific genome engineering and SB methods such as recombineering, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and bacterial cell-cell signaling mechanisms for pathogen targeting. The utility of these tools in developing antibacterial strategies such as novel antibiotic production, phage therapy, diagnostics and vaccine production to name a few, are also highlighted. The prevalent use of antibiotics and the spread of MDR bacteria raise the prospect of a post-antibiotic era, which underscores the need for developing novel therapeutics to target MDR pathogens. The development of enabling SB technologies offers promising solutions to deliver safe and effective antibacterial therapies.

  7. 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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22629571

  8. Multiplexed genome engineering and genotyping methods applications for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Harris H; Church, George M

    2011-01-01

    Engineering at the scale of whole genomes requires fundamentally new molecular biology tools. Recent advances in recombineering using synthetic oligonucleotides enable the rapid generation of mutants at high efficiency and specificity and can be implemented at the genome scale. With these techniques, libraries of mutants can be generated, from which individuals with functionally useful phenotypes can be isolated. Furthermore, populations of cells can be evolved in situ by directed evolution using complex pools of oligonucleotides. Here, we discuss ways to utilize these multiplexed genome engineering methods, with special emphasis on experimental design and implementation. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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...

  10. A platform for rapid prototyping of synthetic gene networks in mammalian cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duportet, Xavier; Wroblewska, Liliana; Guye, Patrick; Li, Yinqing; Eyquem, Justin; Rieders, Julianne; Rimchala, Tharathorn; Batt, Gregory; Weiss, Ron

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian synthetic biology may provide novel therapeutic strategies, help decipher new paths for drug discovery and facilitate synthesis of valuable molecules. Yet, our capacity to genetically program cells is currently hampered by the lack of efficient approaches to streamline the design, construction and screening of synthetic gene networks. To address this problem, here we present a framework for modular and combinatorial assembly of functional (multi)gene expression vectors and their efficient and specific targeted integration into a well-defined chromosomal context in mammalian cells. We demonstrate the potential of this framework by assembling and integrating different functional mammalian regulatory networks including the largest gene circuit built and chromosomally integrated to date (6 transcription units, 27kb) encoding an inducible memory device. Using a library of 18 different circuits as a proof of concept, we also demonstrate that our method enables one-pot/single-flask chromosomal integration and screening of circuit libraries. This rapid and powerful prototyping platform is well suited for comparative studies of genetic regulatory elements, genes and multi-gene circuits as well as facile development of libraries of isogenic engineered cell lines. PMID:25378321

  11. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ek, Pramod Kumar

    This thesis investigated the role of amphiphilic triblock copolymer micelle nanomaterials in nanosensors, with emphasis on the synthesis of micelle particle sensors. The thesis is focused on the role of synthetic and dimensional synthetic organic chemistry in amphiphilic triblock core-shellcorona...

  13. Metabolic engineering of β-oxidation in Penicillium chrysogenum for improved semi-synthetic cephalosporin biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2012-07-01

    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 cephalosporin-related products, but used as an additional carbon and energy source for growth. This low efficiency of side-chain precursor incorporation provides an economic incentive for studying and engineering the metabolism of adipic acid in P. chrysogenum. Chemostat-based transcriptome analysis in the presence and absence of adipic acid confirmed that adipic acid metabolism in this fungus occurs via β-oxidation. A set of 52 adipate-responsive genes included six putative genes for acyl-CoA oxidases and dehydrogenases, enzymes responsible for the first step of β-oxidation. Subcellular localization of the differentially expressed acyl-CoA oxidases and dehydrogenases revealed that the oxidases were exclusively targeted to peroxisomes, while the dehydrogenases were found either in peroxisomes or in mitochondria. Deletion of the genes encoding the peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase Pc20g01800 and the mitochondrial acyl-CoA dehydrogenase Pc20g07920 resulted in a 1.6- and 3.7-fold increase in the production of the semi-synthetic cephalosporin intermediate adipoyl-6-APA, respectively. The deletion strains also showed reduced adipate consumption compared to the reference strain, indicating that engineering of the first step of β-oxidation successfully redirected a larger fraction of adipic acid towards cephalosporin biosynthesis. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. 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,…

  15. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Improving magnetic properties of MgB_2 bulk superconductors by synthetic engine oil treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taylan Koparan, E.; Savaskan, B.; Yanmaz, E.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • The effects of synthetic engine oil treatment on magnetic properties of bulk MgB_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_2. • The critical current density of all of MgB_2 samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range has been better than that of the pure MgB_2 sample. • The MgB_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_2 samples immersed in synthetic engine oil on the critical current density ( J_c(H)), magnetic field dependence of the pinning force density f_p(b) and T_c performances of MgB_2 bulk superconductors. Synthetic engine oil was used as a product which is cheap and a rich carbon source. Manufactured MgB_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_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_2 samples immersed at different standby time in engine oil in whole field range was better than that of the pure MgB_2 sample because of the number of the pinning centers. The MgB_2 sample immersed at 300 min standby time in synthetic engine oil has the best performance compared to other samples. The J_c value for the pure sample is 2.0 × 10"3 A/cm"2, whereas for the MgB_2 sample immersed at 300 min standby time in engine oil the J_c is enhanced to 4.8 × 10"3 A/cm"2 at 5 K and 3 T. The superconducting transition temperature (T_c) did not change with the increasing standby time of the samples in synthetic engine oil at all. The best diamagnetic property was

  20. 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.

  1. Cell-free protein synthesis enabled rapid prototyping for metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihong Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have facilitated the manufacturing of many valuable-added compounds and commodity chemicals using microbial cell factories in the past decade. However, due to complexity of cellular metabolism, the optimization of metabolic pathways for maximal production represents a grand challenge and an unavoidable barrier for metabolic engineering. Recently, cell-free protein synthesis system (CFPS has been emerging as an enabling alternative to address challenges in biomanufacturing. This review summarizes the recent progresses of CFPS in rapid prototyping of biosynthetic pathways and genetic circuits (biosensors to speed up design-build-test (DBT cycles of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Keywords: Cell-free protein synthesis, Metabolic pathway optimization, Genetic circuits, Metabolic engineering, Synthetic biology

  2. 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.

  3. A Small-Molecule Inducible Synthetic Circuit for Control of the SOS Gene Network without DNA Damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubiak, Jeffrey M; Culyba, Matthew J; Liu, Monica Yun; Mo, Charlie Y; Goulian, Mark; Kohli, Rahul M

    2017-11-17

    The bacterial SOS stress-response pathway is a pro-mutagenic DNA repair system that mediates bacterial survival and adaptation to genotoxic stressors, including antibiotics and UV light. The SOS pathway is composed of a network of genes under the control of the transcriptional repressor, LexA. Activation of the pathway involves linked but distinct events: an initial DNA damage event leads to activation of RecA, which promotes autoproteolysis of LexA, abrogating its repressor function and leading to induction of the SOS gene network. These linked events can each independently contribute to DNA repair and mutagenesis, making it difficult to separate the contributions of the different events to observed phenotypes. We therefore devised a novel synthetic circuit to unlink these events and permit induction of the SOS gene network in the absence of DNA damage or RecA activation via orthogonal cleavage of LexA. Strains engineered with the synthetic SOS circuit demonstrate small-molecule inducible expression of SOS genes as well as the associated resistance to UV light. Exploiting our ability to activate SOS genes independently of upstream events, we further demonstrate that the majority of SOS-mediated mutagenesis on the chromosome does not readily occur with orthogonal pathway induction alone, but instead requires DNA damage. More generally, our approach provides an exemplar for using synthetic circuit design to separate an environmental stressor from its associated stress-response pathway.

  4. 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, ...

  5. Chitosan for gene delivery and orthopedic tissue engineering applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raftery, Rosanne; O'Brien, Fergal J; Cryan, Sally-Ann

    2013-05-15

    Gene therapy involves the introduction of foreign genetic material into cells in order exert a therapeutic effect. The application of gene therapy to the field of orthopaedic tissue engineering is extremely promising as the controlled release of therapeutic proteins such as bone morphogenetic proteins have been shown to stimulate bone repair. However, there are a number of drawbacks associated with viral and synthetic non-viral gene delivery approaches. One natural polymer which has generated interest as a gene delivery vector is chitosan. Chitosan is biodegradable, biocompatible and non-toxic. Much of the appeal of chitosan is due to the presence of primary amine groups in its repeating units which become protonated in acidic conditions. This property makes it a promising candidate for non-viral gene delivery. Chitosan-based vectors have been shown to transfect a number of cell types including human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) and human cervical cancer cells (HeLa). Aside from its use in gene delivery, chitosan possesses a range of properties that show promise in tissue engineering applications; it is biodegradable, biocompatible, has anti-bacterial activity, and, its cationic nature allows for electrostatic interaction with glycosaminoglycans and other proteoglycans. It can be used to make nano- and microparticles, sponges, gels, membranes and porous scaffolds. Chitosan has also been shown to enhance mineral deposition during osteogenic differentiation of MSCs in vitro. The purpose of this review is to critically discuss the use of chitosan as a gene delivery vector with emphasis on its application in orthopedic tissue engineering.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    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....... 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...... 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....

  9. Building robust functionality in synthetic circuits using engineered feedback regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Susan; Harrigan, Patrick; Heineike, Benjamin; Stewart-Ornstein, Jacob; El-Samad, Hana

    2013-08-01

    The ability to engineer novel functionality within cells, to quantitatively control cellular circuits, and to manipulate the behaviors of populations, has many important applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. These applications are only beginning to be explored. In this review, we advocate the use of feedback control as an essential strategy for the engineering of robust homeostatic control of biological circuits and cellular populations. We also describe recent works where feedback control, implemented in silico or with biological components, was successfully employed for this purpose. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2010-04-19

    Apr 19, 2010 ... process computationally to describe the structure of the sys- tem and ... to the different mathematical formalisms used to model net-. Keywords. gene ..... All the algorithms were implemented in MATLAB 7.0 and run on all the 'gold ..... De Jong H. 2002 Medeling and simulation of genetic regulatory systems: a ...

  12. 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. PMID:22536398

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    yield stability. Transgenic approach plays an important role in crop improvement. Currently, transgenes are randomly inserted into maize genome...Improve Microbial Biofuel Production - Mary Dunlop, University of Vermont 2:30-3:00 PM Targeted Integration of Genes into the Maize Genome Facilitated...highlights gaps in the present understanding of M13 biology. Understanding the subtleties of regulation will be important for maximally ex- ploiting the

  18. Synthetic Microbial Ecology: Engineering Habitats for Modular Consortia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben Said, Sami; Or, Dani

    2017-01-01

    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 microorganisms and their

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  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...

  2. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa pirA gene encodes a second receptor for ferrienterobactin and synthetic catecholate analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghysels, Bart; Ochsner, Urs; Möllman, Ute; Heinisch, Lothar; Vasil, Michael; Cornelis, Pierre; Matthijs, Sandra

    2005-05-15

    Actively secreted iron chelating agents termed siderophores play an important role in the virulence and rhizosphere competence of fluorescent pseudomonads, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa which secretes a high affinity siderophore, pyoverdine, and the low affinity siderophore, pyochelin. Uptake of the iron-siderophore complexes is an active process that requires specific outer membrane located receptors, which are dependent of the inner membrane-associated protein TonB and two other inner membrane proteins, ExbB and ExbC. P. aeruginosa is also capable of using a remarkable variety of heterologous siderophores as sources of iron, apparently by expressing their cognate receptors. Illustrative of this feature are the 32 (of which 28 putative) siderophore receptor genes observed in the P. aeruginosa PAO1 genome. However, except for a few (pyoverdine, pyochelin, enterobactin), the vast majority of P. aeruginosa siderophore receptor genes still remain to be characterized. Ten synthetic iron chelators of catecholate type stimulated growth of a pyoverdine/pyochelin deficient P. aeruginosa PAO1 mutant under condition of severe iron limitation. Null mutants of the 32 putative TonB-dependent siderophore receptor encoding genes engineered in the same genetic background were screened for obvious deficiencies in uptake of the synthetic siderophores, but none showed decreased growth stimulation in the presence of the different siderophores. However, a double knock-out mutant of ferrienterobactin receptor encoding gene pfeA (PA 2688) and pirA (PA0931) failed to be stimulated by 4 of the tested synthetic catecholate siderophores whose chemical structures resemble enterobactin. Ferric-enterobactin also failed to stimulate growth of the double pfeA-pirA mutant although, like its synthetic analogues, it stimulated growth of the corresponding single mutants. Hence, we confirmed that pirA represents a second P. aeruginosa ferric-enterobactin receptor. The example of these two

  3. A Unifying Mathematical Framework for Genetic Robustness, Environmental Robustness, Network Robustness and their Trade-offs on Phenotype Robustness in Biological Networks. Part III: Synthetic Gene Networks in Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Lin, Ying-Po

    2013-01-01

    Robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are ubiquitous systematic properties that are observed in biological systems at many different levels. The underlying principles for robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation are universal to both complex biological systems and sophisticated engineering systems. In many biological networks, network robustness should be large enough to confer: intrinsic robustness for tolerating intrinsic parameter fluctuations; genetic robustness for buffering genetic variations; and environmental robustness for resisting environmental disturbances. Network robustness is needed so phenotype stability of biological network can be maintained, guaranteeing phenotype robustness. Synthetic biology is foreseen to have important applications in biotechnology and medicine; it is expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of functioning of complex biological systems. This paper presents a unifying mathematical framework for investigating the principles of both robust stabilization and environmental disturbance attenuation for synthetic gene networks in synthetic biology. Further, from the unifying mathematical framework, we found that the phenotype robustness criterion for synthetic gene networks is the following: if intrinsic robustness + genetic robustness + environmental robustness ≦ network robustness, then the phenotype robustness can be maintained in spite of intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental disturbances. Therefore, the trade-offs between intrinsic robustness, genetic robustness, environmental robustness, and network robustness in synthetic biology can also be investigated through corresponding phenotype robustness criteria from the systematic point of view. Finally, a robust synthetic design that involves network evolution algorithms with desired behavior under intrinsic parameter fluctuations, genetic variations, and environmental

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Models for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-11-06

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal.

  9. 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.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Costa, Rú ben M.; Rauf, Sakandar; Hauser, Charlotte

    2017-01-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Synthetic alienation of microbial organisms by using genetic code engineering: Why and how?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubyshkin, Vladimir; Budisa, Nediljko

    2017-08-01

    The main goal of synthetic biology (SB) is the creation of biodiversity applicable for biotechnological needs, while xenobiology (XB) aims to expand the framework of natural chemistries with the non-natural building blocks in living cells to accomplish artificial biodiversity. Protein and proteome engineering, which overcome limitation of the canonical amino acid repertoire of 20 (+2) prescribed by the genetic code by using non-canonic amino acids (ncAAs), is one of the main focuses of XB research. Ideally, estranging the genetic code from its current form via systematic introduction of ncAAs should enable the development of bio-containment mechanisms in synthetic cells potentially endowing them with a "genetic firewall" i.e. orthogonality which prevents genetic information transfer to natural systems. Despite rapid progress over the past two decades, it is not yet possible to completely alienate an organism that would use and maintain different genetic code associations permanently. In order to engineer robust bio-contained life forms, the chemical logic behind the amino acid repertoire establishment should be considered. Starting from recent proposal of Hartman and Smith about the genetic code establishment in the RNA world, here the authors mapped possible biotechnological invasion points for engineering of bio-contained synthetic cells equipped with non-canonical functionalities. Copyright © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Using Synthetic Biology to Engineer Living Cells That Interface with Programmable Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyde, Keith C; Scott, Felicia Y; Paek, Sung-Ho; Zhang, Ruihua; Ruder, Warren C

    2017-03-09

    We have developed an abiotic-biotic interface that allows engineered cells to control the material properties of a functionalized surface. This system is made by creating two modules: a synthetically engineered strain of E. coli cells and a functionalized material interface. Within this paper, we detail a protocol for genetically engineering selected behaviors within a strain of E. coli using molecular cloning strategies. Once developed, this strain produces elevated levels of biotin when exposed to a chemical inducer. Additionally, we detail protocols for creating two different functionalized surfaces, each of which is able to respond to cell-synthesized biotin. Taken together, we present a methodology for creating a linked, abiotic-biotic system that allows engineered cells to control material composition and assembly on nonliving substrates.

  16. 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.

  17. Biofuel production in Escherichia coli. The role of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clomburg, James M. [Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Gonzalez, Ramon [Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Rice Univ., Houston, TX (United States). Dept. of Bioengineering

    2010-03-15

    The microbial production of biofuels is a promising avenue for the development of viable processes for the generation of fuels from sustainable resources. In order to become cost and energy effective, these processes must utilize organisms that can be optimized to efficiently produce candidate fuels from a variety of feedstocks. Escherichia coli has become a promising host organism for the microbial production of biofuels in part due to the ease at which this organism can be manipulated. Advancements in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have led to the ability to efficiently engineer E. coli as a biocatalyst for the production of a wide variety of potential biofuels from several biomass constituents. This review focuses on recent efforts devoted to engineering E. coli for the production of biofuels, with emphasis on the key aspects of both the utilization of a variety of substrates as well as the synthesis of several promising biofuels. Strategies for the efficient utilization of carbohydrates, carbohydrate mixtures, and noncarbohydrate carbon sources will be discussed along with engineering efforts for the exploitation of both fermentative and nonfermentative pathways for the production of candidate biofuels such as alcohols and higher carbon biofuels derived from fatty acid and isoprenoid pathways. Continued advancements in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology will help improve not only the titers, yields, and productivities of biofuels discussed herein, but also increase the potential range of compounds that can be produced. (orig.)

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Genome-wide engineering of an infectious clone of herpes simplex virus type 1 using synthetic genomics assembly methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldfield, Lauren M; Grzesik, Peter; Voorhies, Alexander A; Alperovich, Nina; MacMath, Derek; Najera, Claudia D; Chandra, Diya Sabrina; Prasad, Sanjana; Noskov, Vladimir N; Montague, Michael G; Friedman, Robert M; Desai, Prashant J; Vashee, Sanjay

    2017-10-17

    Here, we present a transformational approach to genome engineering of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), which has a large DNA genome, using synthetic genomics tools. We believe this method will enable more rapid and complex modifications of HSV-1 and other large DNA viruses than previous technologies, facilitating many useful applications. Yeast transformation-associated recombination was used to clone 11 fragments comprising the HSV-1 strain KOS 152 kb genome. Using overlapping sequences between the adjacent pieces, we assembled the fragments into a complete virus genome in yeast, transferred it into an Escherichia coli host, and reconstituted infectious virus following transfection into mammalian cells. The virus derived from this yeast-assembled genome, KOS YA , replicated with kinetics similar to wild-type virus. We demonstrated the utility of this modular assembly technology by making numerous modifications to a single gene, making changes to two genes at the same time and, finally, generating individual and combinatorial deletions to a set of five conserved genes that encode virion structural proteins. While the ability to perform genome-wide editing through assembly methods in large DNA virus genomes raises dual-use concerns, we believe the incremental risks are outweighed by potential benefits. These include enhanced functional studies, generation of oncolytic virus vectors, development of delivery platforms of genes for vaccines or therapy, as well as more rapid development of countermeasures against potential biothreats.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Design and Structure-Function Characterization of 3D Printed Synthetic Porous Biomaterials for Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Cambre N; Miller, Andrew T; Hollister, Scott J; Guldberg, Robert E; Gall, Ken

    2018-04-01

    3D printing is now adopted for use in a variety of industries and functions. In biomedical engineering, 3D printing has prevailed over more traditional manufacturing methods in tissue engineering due to its high degree of control over both macro- and microarchitecture of porous tissue scaffolds. However, with the improved flexibility in design come new challenges in characterizing the structure-function relationships between various architectures and both mechanical and biological properties in an assortment of clinical applications. Presently, the field of tissue engineering lacks a comprehensive body of literature that is capable of drawing meaningful relationships between the designed structure and resulting function of 3D printed porous biomaterial scaffolds. This work first discusses the role of design on 3D printed porous scaffold function and then reviews characterization of these structure-function relationships for 3D printed synthetic metallic, polymeric, and ceramic biomaterials. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. 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.

  5. Genetic interaction motif finding by expectation maximization – a novel statistical model for inferring gene modules from synthetic lethality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye Ping

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synthetic lethality experiments identify pairs of genes with complementary function. More direct functional associations (for example greater probability of membership in a single protein complex may be inferred between genes that share synthetic lethal interaction partners than genes that are directly synthetic lethal. Probabilistic algorithms that identify gene modules based on motif discovery are highly appropriate for the analysis of synthetic lethal genetic interaction data and have great potential in integrative analysis of heterogeneous datasets. Results We have developed Genetic Interaction Motif Finding (GIMF, an algorithm for unsupervised motif discovery from synthetic lethal interaction data. Interaction motifs are characterized by position weight matrices and optimized through expectation maximization. Given a seed gene, GIMF performs a nonlinear transform on the input genetic interaction data and automatically assigns genes to the motif or non-motif category. We demonstrate the capacity to extract known and novel pathways for Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast. Annotations suggested for several uncharacterized genes are supported by recent experimental evidence. GIMF is efficient in computation, requires no training and automatically down-weights promiscuous genes with high degrees. Conclusion GIMF effectively identifies pathways from synthetic lethality data with several unique features. It is mostly suitable for building gene modules around seed genes. Optimal choice of one single model parameter allows construction of gene networks with different levels of confidence. The impact of hub genes the generic probabilistic framework of GIMF may be used to group other types of biological entities such as proteins based on stochastic motifs. Analysis of the strongest motifs discovered by the algorithm indicates that synthetic lethal interactions are depleted between genes within a motif, suggesting that synthetic

  6. Design and development of modular DNA assembly tools for Multigene Engineering and Synthetic Biology in Plants

    OpenAIRE

    Sarrión Perdigones, Manuel Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    The post-genomics era has put at the disposal of modern plant breeders an endless list of genetic building blocks for the design of new biotechnological crops. After a first wave of single-gene transgenic with controversial public acceptance, genomic information and technology is paving the way for increasingly complex designs based in multiple gene engineering. Those designs aiming at the production of inexpensive health-promoting compounds are most likely to be welcomed by consumers. In thi...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...... 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....... 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...

  16. Recoding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases for synthetic biology by rational protein-RNA engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadd, Andrew; Perona, John J

    2014-12-19

    We have taken a rational approach to redesigning the amino acid binding and aminoacyl-tRNA pairing specificities of bacterial glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase. The four-stage engineering incorporates generalizable design principles and improves the pairing efficiency of noncognate glutamate with tRNA(Gln) by over 10(5)-fold compared to the wild-type enzyme. Better optimized designs of the protein-RNA complex include substantial reengineering of the globular core region of the tRNA, demonstrating a role for specific tRNA nucleotides in specifying the identity of the genetically encoded amino acid. Principles emerging from this engineering effort open new prospects for combining rational and genetic selection approaches to design novel aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases that ligate noncanonical amino acids onto tRNAs. This will facilitate reconstruction of the cellular translation apparatus for applications in synthetic biology.

  17. Modular design of synthetic gene circuits with biological parts and pools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchisio, Mario Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic gene circuits can be designed in an electronic fashion by displaying their basic components-Standard Biological Parts and Pools of molecules-on the computer screen and connecting them with hypothetical wires. This procedure, achieved by our add-on for the software ProMoT, was successfully applied to bacterial circuits. Recently, we have extended this design-methodology to eukaryotic cells. Here, highly complex components such as promoters and Pools of mRNA contain hundreds of species and reactions whose calculation demands a rule-based modeling approach. We showed how to build such complex modules via the joint employment of the software BioNetGen (rule-based modeling) and ProMoT (modularization). In this chapter, we illustrate how to utilize our computational tool for synthetic biology with the in silico implementation of a simple eukaryotic gene circuit that performs the logic AND operation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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)

  2. Parallel logic gates in synthetic gene networks induced by non-Gaussian noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yong; Jin, Xiaoqin; Zhang, Huiqing

    2013-11-01

    The recent idea of logical stochastic resonance is verified in synthetic gene networks induced by non-Gaussian noise. We realize the switching between two kinds of logic gates under optimal moderate noise intensity by varying two different tunable parameters in a single gene network. Furthermore, in order to obtain more logic operations, thus providing additional information processing capacity, we obtain in a two-dimensional toggle switch model two complementary logic gates and realize the transformation between two logic gates via the methods of changing different parameters. These simulated results contribute to improve the computational power and functionality of the networks.

  3. Human synthetic lethal inference as potential anti-cancer target gene detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Solé Ricard V

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two genes are called synthetic lethal (SL if mutation of either alone is not lethal, but mutation of both leads to death or a significant decrease in organism's fitness. The detection of SL gene pairs constitutes a promising alternative for anti-cancer therapy. As cancer cells exhibit a large number of mutations, the identification of these mutated genes' SL partners may provide specific anti-cancer drug candidates, with minor perturbations to the healthy cells. Since existent SL data is mainly restricted to yeast screenings, the road towards human SL candidates is limited to inference methods. Results In the present work, we use phylogenetic analysis and database manipulation (BioGRID for interactions, Ensembl and NCBI for homology, Gene Ontology for GO attributes in order to reconstruct the phylogenetically-inferred SL gene network for human. In addition, available data on cancer mutated genes (COSMIC and Cancer Gene Census databases as well as on existent approved drugs (DrugBank database supports our selection of cancer-therapy candidates. Conclusions Our work provides a complementary alternative to the current methods for drug discovering and gene target identification in anti-cancer research. Novel SL screening analysis and the use of highly curated databases would contribute to improve the results of this methodology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. ‘Can Simple Biological Systems be Built from Standardized Interchangeable Parts?’:Negotiating Biology and Engineering in a Synthetic Biology Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Frow, Emma; Calvert, Jane

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology represents a recent attempt to bring engineering principles and practices to working with biology. In practice, the nature of the relationship between engineering and biology in synthetic biology is a subject of ongoing debate. The disciplines of biology and engineering are typically seen to involve differentways of knowing and doing, and to embody different assumptions and objectives. Tensions between these approaches are playing out as the field of synthetic biology is bei...

  9. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchisio, Mario Andrea, E-mail: marchisio@hit.edu.cn [School of Life Science and Technology, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin (China)

    2014-10-06

    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. Transfer of engineered genes from crop to wild plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bagger Jørgensen, Rikke; Hauser, T.P.; Mikkelsen, T.R.

    1996-01-01

    The escape of engineered genes - genes inserted using recombinant DNA techniques - from cultivated plants to wild or weedy relatives has raised concern about possible risks to the environment or to health. The media have added considerably to public concern by suggesting that such gene escape...... is a new and rather unexpected phenomenon. However, transfer of engineered genes between plants is not at-all surprising, because it is mediated by exactly the same mechanisms as those responsible for transferring endogenous plant genes: it takes place by sexual crosses, with pollen as the carrier...

  12. Surface chemical immobilization of bioactive peptides on synthetic polymers for cardiac tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosellini, Elisabetta; Cristallini, Caterina; Guerra, Giulio D; Barbani, Niccoletta

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was the development of new synthetic polymeric systems, functionalized by surface chemical modification with bioactive peptides, for myocardial tissue engineering. Polycaprolactone and a poly(ester-ether-ester) block copolymer synthesized in our lab, polycaprolactone-poly(ethylene oxide)-polycaprolactone (PCL-PEO-PCL), were used as the substrates to be modified. Two pentapeptides, H-Gly-Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser-OH (GRGDS) from fibronectin and H-Tyr-Ile-Gly-Ser-Arg-OH (YIGSR) from laminin, were used for the functionalization. Polymeric membranes were obtained by casting from solutions and then functionalized by means of alkaline hydrolysis and subsequent coupling of the bioactive molecules through 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodimide hydrochloride/N-hydroxysuccinimide chemistry. The hydrolysis conditions, in terms of hydrolysis time, temperature, and sodium hydroxide concentration, were optimized for the two materials. The occurrence of the coupling reaction was demonstrated by infrared spectroscopy, as the presence on the functionalized materials of the absorption peaks typical of the two peptides. The peptide surface density was determined by chromatographic analysis and the distribution was studied by infrared chemical imaging. The results showed a nearly homogeneous peptide distribution, with a density above the minimum value necessary to promote cell adhesion. Preliminary in vitro cell culture studies demonstrated that the introduction of the bioactive molecules had a positive effect on improving C2C12 myoblasts growth on the synthetic materials.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Future combustion technology for synthetic and renewable fuels in compression ignition engines (REFUEL). Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aakko-Saksa, P.; Brink, A.; Happonen, M. [and others

    2012-07-01

    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) prooject was a joint research project with Aalto University (Aalto), Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and Aabo Akademi University (AAU). The project was funded by TEKES, Waertsilae Oyj, Agro Sisu Power, Aker Arctic Technology Oy and the research partners listed above. Modern renewable diesel fuels have excellent physical and chemical properties, in comparison to traditional crude oil based fuels. Purely paraffinic fuels do not contain aromatic compounds and they are totally sulphur free. Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) was studied as an example of paraffinic high cetane number (CN) diesel fuels. HVO has no storage and low temperature problems like the fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) have. The combustion properties are better than those of crude oil based fuels and FAME, because they have very high cetane numbers and contain no polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). With low HVO density, viscosity and distillation temperatures, these advantageous properties allow far more advanced combustion strategies, such as very high exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rates or extreme Miller timings, than has been possible with current fossil fuels. The implementation of these advanced combustion technologies, together with the novel renewable diesel fuel, brought significant nitrogen oxides (NO{sub x}), particulate matter (PM) emission reductions with no efficiency losses. (orig.)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Protective vaccination with a recombinant fragment of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A expressed from a synthetic gene in Escherichia coli.

    OpenAIRE

    Clayton, M A; Clayton, J M; Brown, D R; Middlebrook, J L

    1995-01-01

    A completely synthetic gene encoding fragment C, a approximately 50-kDa fragment, of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A was constructed from oligonucleotides. The gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and full-sized product was produced as judged by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis. Crude extracts of E. coli expressing the gene were used to vaccinate mice and evaluate their survival against challenge with active toxin. Mice given three subcutaneous vaccinations were protected against an intr...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Aouida, Mustapha; Eid, Ayman; Ali, Zahir; Cradick, Thomas; Lee, Ciaran; Deshmukh, Harshavardhan; Atef, Ahmed; Abu Samra, Dina Bashir Kamil; Gadhoum, Samah Zeineb; Merzaban, Jasmeen; Bao, Gang; Mahfouz, Magdy M.

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. An att site-based recombination reporter system for genome engineering and synthetic DNA assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bland, Michael J; Ducos-Galand, Magaly; Val, Marie-Eve; Mazel, Didier

    2017-07-14

    Direct manipulation of the genome is a widespread technique for genetic studies and synthetic biology applications. The tyrosine and serine site-specific recombination systems of bacteriophages HK022 and ΦC31 are widely used for stable directional exchange and relocation of DNA sequences, making them valuable tools in these contexts. We have developed site-specific recombination tools that allow the direct selection of recombination events by embedding the attB site from each system within the β-lactamase resistance coding sequence (bla). The HK and ΦC31 tools were developed by placing the attB sites from each system into the signal peptide cleavage site coding sequence of bla. All possible open reading frames (ORFs) were inserted and tested for recombination efficiency and bla activity. Efficient recombination was observed for all tested ORFs (3 for HK, 6 for ΦC31) as shown through a cointegrate formation assay. The bla gene with the embedded attB site was functional for eight of the nine constructs tested. The HK/ΦC31 att-bla system offers a simple way to directly select recombination events, thus enhancing the use of site-specific recombination systems for carrying out precise, large-scale DNA manipulation, and adding useful tools to the genetics toolbox. We further show the power and flexibility of bla to be used as a reporter for recombination.

  8. 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.

  9. Efficient Reverse-Engineering of a Developmental Gene Regulatory Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicin-Sain, Damjan; Ashyraliyev, Maksat; Jaeger, Johannes

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the complex regulatory networks underlying development and evolution of multi-cellular organisms is a major problem in biology. Computational models can be used as tools to extract the regulatory structure and dynamics of such networks from gene expression data. This approach is called reverse engineering. It has been successfully applied to many gene networks in various biological systems. However, to reconstitute the structure and non-linear dynamics of a developmental gene network in its spatial context remains a considerable challenge. Here, we address this challenge using a case study: the gap gene network involved in segment determination during early development of Drosophila melanogaster. A major problem for reverse-engineering pattern-forming networks is the significant amount of time and effort required to acquire and quantify spatial gene expression data. We have developed a simplified data processing pipeline that considerably increases the throughput of the method, but results in data of reduced accuracy compared to those previously used for gap gene network inference. We demonstrate that we can infer the correct network structure using our reduced data set, and investigate minimal data requirements for successful reverse engineering. Our results show that timing and position of expression domain boundaries are the crucial features for determining regulatory network structure from data, while it is less important to precisely measure expression levels. Based on this, we define minimal data requirements for gap gene network inference. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of reverse-engineering with much reduced experimental effort. This enables more widespread use of the method in different developmental contexts and organisms. Such systematic application of data-driven models to real-world networks has enormous potential. Only the quantitative investigation of a large number of developmental gene regulatory networks will allow us to

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:23099792

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. Engineering adeno-associated viruses for clinical gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotterman, Melissa A; Schaffer, David V

    2014-07-01

    Clinical gene therapy has been increasingly successful owing both to an enhanced molecular understanding of human disease and to progressively improving gene delivery technologies. Among these technologies, delivery vectors based on adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) have emerged as safe and effective and, in one recent case, have led to regulatory approval. Although shortcomings in viral vector properties will render extension of such successes to many other human diseases challenging, new approaches to engineer and improve AAV vectors and their genetic cargo are increasingly helping to overcome these barriers.

  1. 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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyu Shi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available 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. Keywords: BioCAD, Genetic engineering software, Molecular cloning software, Synthetic biology, Workflow simulation and management

  2. 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)

  3. Conditions for success of engineered underdominance gene drive systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgington, Matthew P; Alphey, Luke S

    2017-10-07

    Engineered underdominance is one of a number of different gene drive strategies that have been proposed for the genetic control of insect vectors of disease. Here we model a two-locus engineered underdominance based gene drive system that is based on the concept of mutually suppressing lethals. In such a system two genetic constructs are introduced, each possessing a lethal element and a suppressor of the lethal at the other locus. Specifically, we formulate and analyse a population genetics model of this system to assess when different combinations of release strategies (i.e. single or multiple releases of both sexes or males only) and genetic systems (i.e. bisex lethal or female-specific lethal elements and different strengths of suppressors) will give population replacement or fail to do so. We anticipate that results presented here will inform the future design of engineered underdominance gene drive systems as well as providing a point of reference regarding release strategies for those looking to test such a system. Our discussion is framed in the context of genetic control of insect vectors of disease. One of several serious threats in this context are Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as they are the primary vectors of dengue viruses. However, results are also applicable to Ae. aegypti as vectors of Zika, yellow fever and chikungunya viruses and also to the control of a number of other insect species and thereby of insect-vectored pathogens. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. A gene network simulator to assess reverse engineering algorithms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Camillo, Barbara; Toffolo, Gianna; Cobelli, Claudio

    2009-03-01

    In the context of reverse engineering of biological networks, simulators are helpful to test and compare the accuracy of different reverse-engineering approaches in a variety of experimental conditions. A novel gene-network simulator is presented that resembles some of the main features of transcriptional regulatory networks related to topology, interaction among regulators of transcription, and expression dynamics. The simulator generates network topology according to the current knowledge of biological network organization, including scale-free distribution of the connectivity and clustering coefficient independent of the number of nodes in the network. It uses fuzzy logic to represent interactions among the regulators of each gene, integrated with differential equations to generate continuous data, comparable to real data for variety and dynamic complexity. Finally, the simulator accounts for saturation in the response to regulation and transcription activation thresholds and shows robustness to perturbations. It therefore provides a reliable and versatile test bed for reverse engineering algorithms applied to microarray data. Since the simulator describes regulatory interactions and expression dynamics as two distinct, although interconnected aspects of regulation, it can also be used to test reverse engineering approaches that use both microarray and protein-protein interaction data in the process of learning. A first software release is available at http://www.dei.unipd.it/~dicamill/software/netsim as an R programming language package.

  5. A comparison of synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides, DNA fragments and AAV-1 for targeted episomal and chromosomal gene repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leclerc Xavier

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Current strategies for gene therapy of inherited diseases consist in adding functional copies of the gene that is defective. An attractive alternative to these approaches would be to correct the endogenous mutated gene in the affected individual. This study presents a quantitative comparison of the repair efficiency using different forms of donor nucleic acids, including synthetic DNA oligonucleotides, double stranded DNA fragments with sizes ranging from 200 to 2200 bp and sequences carried by a recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV-1. Evaluation of each gene repair strategy was carried out using two different reporter systems, a mutated eGFP gene or a dual construct with a functional eGFP and an inactive luciferase gene, in several different cell systems. Gene targeting events were scored either following transient co-transfection of reporter plasmids and donor DNAs, or in a system where a reporter construct was stably integrated into the chromosome. Results In both episomal and chromosomal assays, DNA fragments were more efficient at gene repair than oligonucleotides or rAAV-1. Furthermore, the gene targeting frequency could be significantly increased by using DNA repair stimulating drugs such as doxorubicin and phleomycin. Conclusion Our results show that it is possible to obtain repair frequencies of 1% of the transfected cell population under optimized transfection protocols when cells were pretreated with phleomycin using rAAV-1 and dsDNA fragments.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Maria Lund

    encoding a PKS-NRPS hybrid responsible for the production of a medically relevant compound in Talaromyces atroroseus. To the best of my knowledge, this study represents the first example of reverse engineering of a Talaromyces species. In the fourth study (chapter 5), I used the CRISPR-Cas9 system...... structure optimization. Within the last decade, an alternative approach for expanding natural product chemodiversity has been applied. This strategy, known as combinatorial biosynthesis, involves the re-engineering of biosynthetic pathways and ultimately the rational engineering of new natural product...... analogs. This field, however, has proved very challenging and many engineering efforts have resulted in enzymatic loss-of-function or reduced yields. Thus, the future success in combinatorial biosynthetic studies requires a thorough understanding of the structure and function of biosynthetic enzymes...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. [Applications of synthetic biology in materials science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Tianxin; Zhong, Chao

    2017-03-25

    Materials are the basis for human being survival and social development. To keep abreast with the increasing needs from all aspects of human society, there are huge needs in the development of advanced materials as well as high-efficiency but low-cost manufacturing strategies that are both sustainable and tunable. Synthetic biology, a new engineering principle taking gene regulation and engineering design as the core, greatly promotes the development of life sciences. This discipline has also contributed to the development of material sciences and will continuously bring new ideas to future new material design. In this paper, we review recent advances in applications of synthetic biology in material sciences, with the focus on how synthetic biology could enable synthesis of new polymeric biomaterials and inorganic materials, phage display and directed evolution of proteins relevant to materials development, living functional materials, engineered bacteria-regulated artificial photosynthesis system as well as applications of gene circuits for material sciences.

  11. 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...... 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Autonomous assembly of synthetic oligonucleotides built from an expanded DNA alphabet. Total synthesis of a gene encoding kanamycin resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristen K. Merritt

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Many synthetic biologists seek to increase the degree of autonomy in the assembly of long DNA (L-DNA constructs from short synthetic DNA fragments, which are today quite inexpensive because of automated solid-phase synthesis. However, the low information density of DNA built from just four nucleotide “letters”, the presence of strong (G:C and weak (A:T nucleobase pairs, the non-canonical folded structures that compete with Watson–Crick pairing, and other features intrinsic to natural DNA, generally prevent the autonomous assembly of short single-stranded oligonucleotides greater than a dozen or so.Results: We describe a new strategy to autonomously assemble L-DNA constructs from fragments of synthetic single-stranded DNA. This strategy uses an artificially expanded genetic information system (AEGIS that adds nucleotides to the four (G, A, C, and T found in standard DNA by shuffling hydrogen-bonding units on the nucleobases, all while retaining the overall Watson–Crick base-pairing geometry. The added information density allows larger numbers of synthetic fragments to self-assemble without off-target hybridization, hairpin formation, and non-canonical folding interactions. The AEGIS pairs are then converted into standard pairs to produce a fully natural L-DNA product. Here, we report the autonomous assembly of a gene encoding kanamycin resistance using this strategy. Synthetic fragments were built from a six-letter alphabet having two AEGIS components, 5-methyl-2’-deoxyisocytidine and 2’-deoxyisoguanosine (respectively S and B, at their overlapping ends. Gaps in the overlapped assembly were then filled in using DNA polymerases, and the nicks were sealed by ligase. The S:B pairs in the ligated construct were then converted to T:A pairs during PCR amplification. When cloned into a plasmid, the product was shown to make Escherichia coli resistant to kanamycin. A parallel study that attempted to assemble similarly sized genes

  15. 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

  16. Synthetic scaffolds based on biodegradable, functionalized polyesters for tissue engineering applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seyednejad, S.H.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to investigate the possibility of using a novel hydroxyl-functionalized polyester [poly(hydroxymethylglycolide-co-ε-caprolactone), pHMGCL] (Fig.9) to fabricate scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. Degradable polymers that are frequently used for tissue

  17. 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

  18. Modulating ectopic gene expression levels by using retroviral vectors equipped with synthetic promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, Joshua P; Peacock, Ryan W S; Lawhorn, Ingrid E B; Wang, Clifford L

    2011-12-01

    The human cytomegalovirus and elongation factor 1α promoters are constitutive promoters commonly employed by mammalian expression vectors. These promoters generally produce high levels of expression in many types of cells and tissues. To generate a library of synthetic promoters capable of generating a range of low, intermediate, and high expression levels, the TATA and CAAT box elements of these promoters were mutated. Other promoter variants were also generated by random mutagenesis. Evaluation using plasmid vectors integrated at a single site in the genome revealed that these various synthetic promoters were capable of expression levels spanning a 40-fold range. Retroviral vectors were equipped with the synthetic promoters and evaluated for their ability to reproduce the graded expression demonstrated by plasmid integration. A vector with a self-inactivating long terminal repeat could neither reproduce the full range of expression levels nor produce stable expression. Using a second vector design, the different synthetic promoters enabled stable expression over a broad range of expression levels in different cell lines. The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11693-011-9089-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

  19. Exposure to synthetic greywater inhibits amoebae encystation and alters expression of Legionella pneumophila virulence genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Water conservation efforts have focused on greywater (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 amoebae (FLA) hosts within GW. Using synthetic gre...

  20. [Research progress of mammalian synthetic biology in biomedical field].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Linfeng; Yin, Jianli; Wang, Meiyan; Ye, Haifeng

    2017-03-25

    Although still in its infant stage, synthetic biology has achieved remarkable development and progress during the past decade. Synthetic biology applies engineering principles to design and construct gene circuits uploaded into living cells or organisms to perform novel or improved functions, and it has been widely used in many fields. In this review, we describe the recent advances of mammalian synthetic biology for the treatment of diseases. We introduce common tools and design principles of synthetic gene circuits, and then we demonstrate open-loop gene circuits induced by different trigger molecules used in disease diagnosis and close-loop gene circuits used for biomedical applications. Finally, we discuss the perspectives and potential challenges of synthetic biology for clinical applications.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jarboe, Laura R.; Zhang, Xueli; Wang, Xuan; Moore, Jonathan C.; Shanmugam, K. T.; Ingram, Lonnie O.

    2010-01-01

    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 inhibito...

  2. 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.

  3. Engineering novel synthetic strategy to develop mesocarbon microbeads for multi-functional applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Anisha; Teotia, Satish; Kumar, Rajeev; Ramesha, K.; Dhakate, Sanjay R.; Kumari, Saroj

    2018-04-01

    To assess the challenge of affordable technology, present synthetic strategies can be extended to new low-cost synthesis and processing methods that have potential to tailor the properties of the materials. Here we report, a novel method for the synthesis of mesocarbon microbeads (MCMB) through a pre-processing involved pyrolysis technique. The resulting MCMB is compressed into a product and effects of heat treatment temperature on different properties of MCMB is studied. The use of MCMB for the electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding is new and hence, the effect of heat treatment temperature on EMI shielding effectiveness is studied in X-band. It is observed that EMI shielding effectiveness increases to ‑39.6 dB on increasing the heat treatment temperature. The high conductivity of MCMB plate heat treated upto 2500 °C contributes to highly conducting networks. Additionally, to investigate the electrochemical performance of MCMB as an anode material for lithium ion batteries, 2500 °C heat treated MCMB powder is used to fabricate the electrode. The MCMB electrode exhibits high discharge capacity of 345 mAh g‑1 with a stable capacity for over 50 cycles and good rate capability. Thus, MCMB synthesized by this novel approach can be used for the development of high performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries.

  4. Robust synthetic biology design: stochastic game theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Chang, Chia-Hung; Lee, Hsiao-Ching

    2009-07-15

    Synthetic biology is to engineer artificial biological systems to investigate natural biological phenomena and for a variety of applications. However, the development of synthetic gene networks is still difficult and most newly created gene networks are non-functioning due to uncertain initial conditions and disturbances of extra-cellular environments on the host cell. At present, how to design a robust synthetic gene network to work properly under these uncertain factors is the most important topic of synthetic biology. A robust regulation design is proposed for a stochastic synthetic gene network to achieve the prescribed steady states under these uncertain factors from the minimax regulation perspective. This minimax regulation design problem can be transformed to an equivalent stochastic game problem. Since it is not easy to solve the robust regulation design problem of synthetic gene networks by non-linear stochastic game method directly, the Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy model is proposed to approximate the non-linear synthetic gene network via the linear matrix inequality (LMI) technique through the Robust Control Toolbox in Matlab. Finally, an in silico example is given to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the efficiency and efficacy of the proposed robust gene design method. http://www.ee.nthu.edu.tw/bschen/SyntheticBioDesign_supplement.pdf.

  5. Modulating ectopic gene expression levels by using retroviral vectors equipped with synthetic promoters

    OpenAIRE

    Ferreira, Joshua P.; Peacock, Ryan W. S.; Lawhorn, Ingrid E. B.; Wang, Clifford L.

    2011-01-01

    The human cytomegalovirus and elongation factor 1α promoters are constitutive promoters commonly employed by mammalian expression vectors. These promoters generally produce high levels of expression in many types of cells and tissues. To generate a library of synthetic promoters capable of generating a range of low, intermediate, and high expression levels, the TATA and CAAT box elements of these promoters were mutated. Other promoter variants were also generated by random mutagenesis. Evalua...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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."

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Engineering strategies to recapitulate epithelial morphogenesis within synthetic three-dimensional extracellular matrix with tunable mechanical properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miroshnikova, Y A; Sarang-Sieminski, A L; Jorgens, D M; Auer, M; Spirio, L; Weaver, V M

    2011-01-01

    The mechanical properties (e.g. stiffness) of the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence cell fate and tissue morphogenesis and contribute to disease progression. Nevertheless, our understanding of the mechanisms by which ECM rigidity modulates cell behavior and fate remains rudimentary. To address this issue, a number of two and three-dimensional (3D) hydrogel systems have been used to explore the effects of the mechanical properties of the ECM on cell behavior. Unfortunately, many of these systems have limited application because fiber architecture, adhesiveness and/or pore size often change in parallel when gel elasticity is varied. Here we describe the use of ECM-adsorbed, synthetic, self-assembling peptide (SAP) gels that are able to recapitulate normal epithelial acini morphogenesis and gene expression in a 3D context. By exploiting the range of viscoelasticity attainable with these SAP gels, and their ability to recreate native-like ECM fibril topology with minimal variability in ligand density and pore size, we were able to reconstitute normal and tumor-like phenotypes and gene expression patterns in nonmalignant mammary epithelial cells. Accordingly, this SAP hydrogel system presents the first tunable system capable of independently assessing the interplay between ECM stiffness and multi-cellular epithelial phenotype in a 3D context

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [From gene cloning to expressional analysis--practice and experience from educational reform of experimental gene engineering].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yan-Hua; Guo, Bin; Lou, Hui-Ling; Cui, Yu-Liang; Gu, Hui-Juan; Qiao, Shou-Yi

    2012-02-01

    Experimental gene engineering is a laboratory course focusing on the molecular structure, expression pattern and biological function of genes. Providing our students with a solid knowledge base and correct ways to conduct research is very important for high-quality education of genetic engineering. Inspired by recent progresses in this field, we improved the experimental gene engineering course by adding more updated knowledge and technologies and emphasizing on the combination of teaching and research, with the aim of offering our students a good start in their scientific careers.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. A synthetic hybrid promoter for xylose-regulated control of gene expression in Saccharomyces yeasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metabolism of non-glucose carbon sources is often highly regulated at the transcriptional and post-translational levels. This level of regulation is lacking in Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains engineered to metabolize xylose. To better control transcription in S. cerevisiae, the xylose-dependent, DN...

  1. From gene engineering to gene modulation and manipulation: can we prevent or detect gene doping in sports?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischetto, Giuseppe; Bermon, Stéphane

    2013-10-01

    During the last 2 decades, progress in deciphering the human gene map as well as the discovery of specific defective genes encoding particular proteins in some serious human diseases have resulted in attempts to treat sick patients with gene therapy. There has been considerable focus on human recombinant proteins which were gene-engineered and produced in vitro (insulin, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1, erythropoietin). Unfortunately, these substances and methods also became improper tools for unscrupulous athletes. Biomedical research has focused on the possible direct insertion of gene material into the body, in order to replace some defective genes in vivo and/or to promote long-lasting endogenous synthesis of deficient proteins. Theoretically, diabetes, anaemia, muscular dystrophies, immune deficiency, cardiovascular diseases and numerous other illnesses could benefit from such innovative biomedical research, though much work remains to be done. Considering recent findings linking specific genotypes and physical performance, it is tempting to submit the young athletic population to genetic screening or, alternatively, to artificial gene expression modulation. Much research is already being conducted in order to achieve a safe transfer of genetic material to humans. This is of critical importance since uncontrolled production of the specifically coded protein, with serious secondary adverse effects (polycythaemia, acute cardiovascular problems, cancer, etc.), could occur. Other unpredictable reactions (immunogenicity of vectors or DNA-vector complex, autoimmune anaemia, production of wild genetic material) also remain possible at the individual level. Some new substances (myostatin blockers or anti-myostatin antibodies), although not gene material, might represent a useful and well-tolerated treatment to prevent progression of muscular dystrophies. Similarly, other molecules, in the roles of gene or metabolic activators [5-aminoimidazole-4

  2. An N-terminal peptide extension results in efficient expression, but not secretion, of a synthetic horseradish peroxidase gene in transgenic tobacco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Mihaly; Burbridge, Emma; Brock, Ian W; Heggie, Laura; Dix, Philip J; Kavanagh, Tony A

    2004-03-01

    Native horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) peroxidase, HRP (EC 1.11.1.7), isoenzyme C is synthesized with N-terminal and C-terminal peptide extensions, believed to be associated with protein targeting. This study aimed to explore the specific functions of these extensions, and to generate transgenic plants with expression patterns suitable for exploring the role of peroxidase in plant development and defence. Transgenic Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) plants expressing different versions of a synthetic horseradish peroxidase, HRP, isoenzyme C gene were constructed. The gene was engineered to include additional sequences coding for either the natural N-terminal or the C-terminal extension or both. These constructs were placed under the control of a constitutive promoter (CaMV-35S) or the tobacco RUBISCO-SSU light inducible promoter (SSU) and introduced into tobacco using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. To study the effects of the N- and C-terminal extensions, the localization of recombinant peroxidase was determined using biochemical and molecular techniques. Transgenic tobacco plants can exhibit a ten-fold increase in peroxidase activity compared with wild-type tobacco levels, and the majority of this activity is located in the symplast. The N-terminal extension is essential for the production of high levels of recombinant protein, while the C-terminal extension has little effect. Differences in levels of enzyme activity and recombinant protein are reflected in transcript levels. There is no evidence to support either preferential secretion or vacuolar targeting of recombinant peroxidase in this heterologous expression system. This leads us to question the postulated targeting roles of these peptide extensions. The N-terminal extension is essential for high level expression and appears to influence transcript stability or translational efficiency. Plants have been generated with greatly elevated cytosolic peroxidase activity, and smaller increases in apoplastic

  3. Synthetic medical studies on atomic bomb survivors exposed in short distances, 15. Detection of transforming gene(s)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamada, Nanao; Tanaka, Kimio; Kontani, Nobuko; Yokoro, Kenjiro; Takimoto, Yasuo; Kuramoto, Atsushi; Munaka, Masaki; Kurihara, Minoru; Hattori, Takao

    1988-03-01

    In an effort to search for biological significance of chromosome aberration observed in bone marrow cells and peripheral lymphocytes, the presence of transforming genes in the DNA of bone marrow cells was examined in four healthy A-bomb survivors (Group I), three with preleukemia (Group II), and nine with leukemia (Group III). In Group I exposed at 300 - 500 m from the hypocenter, estimated radiation doses ranged from 565 to 667 cGy; and randomly abnormal karyotypes ranged from 30.7 % to 48.3 %. In Group II exposed at 800 m, in which estimated radiation doses were 300 - 600 cGy, one survivor had a complicated karyotype abnormality; and in the two others, abnormal clones were partly observed. Group III, which was exposed at 800 - 2,000 m and had estimated doses of 20 - 200 cGy, consisted of acute lymphoid leukemia (one), acute myeloid leukemia (five), and chronic myeloid leukemia (three). The patient with acute lymphoid leukemia had a complicated karyotype abnormality. N-ras genes were observed not only in seven acute or chronic leukemic patients but also in three healthy survivors. This may have important implications for the mechanism of leukemic transformation. (Namekawa, K.).

  4. 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.

  5. Synthetic biology, inspired by synthetic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinova, V; Nallani, M; Meier, W P; Sinner, E K

    2012-07-16

    The topic synthetic biology appears still as an 'empty basket to be filled'. However, there is already plenty of claims and visions, as well as convincing research strategies about the theme of synthetic biology. First of all, synthetic biology seems to be about the engineering of biology - about bottom-up and top-down approaches, compromising complexity versus stability of artificial architectures, relevant in biology. Synthetic biology accounts for heterogeneous approaches towards minimal and even artificial life, the engineering of biochemical pathways on the organismic level, the modelling of molecular processes and finally, the combination of synthetic with nature-derived materials and architectural concepts, such as a cellular membrane. Still, synthetic biology is a discipline, which embraces interdisciplinary attempts in order to have a profound, scientific base to enable the re-design of nature and to compose architectures and processes with man-made matter. We like to give an overview about the developments in the field of synthetic biology, regarding polymer-based analogs of cellular membranes and what questions can be answered by applying synthetic polymer science towards the smallest unit in life, namely a cell. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Changes in protein synthetic activity in early Drosophila embryos mutant for the segmentation gene Krueppel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bedian, V.; Summers, M.C.; Kauffman, S.A.

    1988-01-01

    We have identified early embryo proteins related to the segmentation gene Krueppel by [35S]methionine pulse labelling and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Protein synthesis differences shared by homozygous embryos of two Krueppel alleles when compared to heterozygous and wild-type embryos are reported. The study was extended to syncytial blastoderm stages by pulse labelling and gel analysis of single embryos, using Krueppel-specific proteins from gastrula stages as molecular markers for identifying homozygous Krueppel embryos. Localized expression of interesting proteins was examined in embryo fragments. The earliest differences detected at nuclear migration stages showed unregulated synthesis in mutant embryos of two proteins that have stage specific synthesis in normal embryos. At the cellular blastoderm stage one protein was not synthesized and two proteins showed apparent shifts in isoelectric point in mutant embryos. Differences observed in older embryos included additional proteins with shifted isoelectric points and a number of qualitative and quantitative changes in protein synthesis. Five of the proteins with altered rates of synthesis in mutant embryos showed localized synthesis in normal embryos. The early effects observed are consistent with the hypothesis that the Krueppel product can be a negative or positive regulator of expression of other loci, while blastoderm and gastrula stage shifts in isoelectric point indicate that a secondary effect of Krueppel function may involve post-translational modification of proteins

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Causal and synthetic associations of variants in the SERPINA gene cluster with alpha1-antitrypsin serum levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gian Andri Thun

    Full Text Available 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 onset chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD. The role of more common SERPINA1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs in respiratory health remains poorly understood. We present here an agnostic investigation of genetic determinants of circulating AAT levels in a general population sample by performing a genome-wide association study (GWAS in 1392 individuals of the SAPALDIA cohort. Five common SNPs, defined by showing minor allele frequencies (MAFs >5%, reached genome-wide significance, all located in the SERPINA gene cluster at 14q32.13. The top-ranking genotyped SNP rs4905179 was associated with an estimated effect of β = -0.068 g/L per minor allele (P = 1.20*10(-12. But denser SERPINA1 locus genotyping in 5569 participants with subsequent stepwise conditional analysis, as well as exon-sequencing in a subsample (N = 410, suggested that AAT serum level is causally determined at this locus by rare (MAF<1% and low-frequent (MAF 1-5% variants only, in particular by the well-documented protein inhibitor S and Z (PI S, PI Z variants. Replication of the association of rs4905179 with AAT serum levels in the Copenhagen City Heart Study (N = 8273 was successful (P<0.0001, as was the replication of its synthetic nature (the effect disappeared after adjusting for PI S and Z, P = 0.57. Extending the analysis to lung function revealed a more complex situation. Only in individuals with severely compromised pulmonary health (N = 397, associations of common SNPs at this locus with lung function were driven by rarer PI S or Z variants. Overall, our meta-analysis of lung function in ever-smokers does not support a functional role of common SNPs in the SERPINA gene

  15. 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

  16. Silencing of meiosis-critical genes for engineering male sterility in plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engineering sterile traits in plants through the tissue-specific expression of a cytotoxic gene provides an effective way for containing transgene flow; however, the microbial origin of cytotoxic genes has raised concerns. In an attempt to develop a safe alternative, we have chosen the meiosis-crit...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Synthetic Biology of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, De-Chuan; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a family of biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters which have been extensively studied using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering methods for improving production and for widening its diversity. Synthetic biology has allowed PHA to become composition controllable random copolymers, homopolymers, and block copolymers. Recent developments showed that it is possible to establish a microbial platform for producing not only random copolymers with controllable monomers and their ratios but also structurally defined homopolymers and block copolymers. This was achieved by engineering the genome of Pseudomonas putida or Pseudomonas entomophiles to weaken the β-oxidation and in situ fatty acid synthesis pathways, so that a fatty acid fed to the bacteria maintains its original chain length and structures when incorporated into the PHA chains. The engineered bacterium allows functional groups in a fatty acid to be introduced into PHA, forming functional PHA, which, upon grafting, generates endless PHA variety. Recombinant Escherichia coli also succeeded in producing efficiently poly(3-hydroxypropionate) or P3HP, the strongest member of PHA. Synthesis pathways of P3HP and its copolymer P3HB3HP of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxypropionate were assembled respectively to allow their synthesis from glucose. CRISPRi was also successfully used to manipulate simultaneously multiple genes and control metabolic flux in E. coli to obtain a series of copolymer P3HB4HB of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB). The bacterial shapes were successfully engineered for enhanced PHA accumulation.

  20. 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.

  1. Small, synthetic, GC-rich mRNA stem-loop modules 5' proximal to the AUG start-codon predictably tune gene expression in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamping, Erwin; Niimi, Masakazu; Cannon, Richard D

    2013-07-29

    A large range of genetic tools has been developed for the optimal design and regulation of complex metabolic pathways in bacteria. However, fewer tools exist in yeast that can precisely tune the expression of individual enzymes in novel metabolic pathways suitable for industrial-scale production of non-natural compounds. Tuning expression levels is critical for reducing the metabolic burden of over-expressed proteins, the accumulation of toxic intermediates, and for redirecting metabolic flux from native pathways involving essential enzymes without negatively affecting the viability of the host. We have developed a yeast membrane protein hyper-expression system with critical advantages over conventional, plasmid-based, expression systems. However, expression levels are sometimes so high that they adversely affect protein targeting/folding or the growth and/or phenotype of the host. Here we describe the use of small synthetic mRNA control modules that allowed us to predictably tune protein expression levels to any desired level. Down-regulation of expression was achieved by engineering small GC-rich mRNA stem-loops into the 5' UTR that inhibited translation initiation of the yeast ribosomal 43S preinitiation complex (PIC). Exploiting the fact that the yeast 43S PIC has great difficulty scanning through GC-rich mRNA stem-loops, we created yeast strains containing 17 different RNA stem-loop modules in the 5' UTR that expressed varying amounts of the fungal multidrug efflux pump reporter Cdr1p from Candida albicans. Increasing the length of mRNA stem-loops (that contained only GC-pairs) near the AUG start-codon led to a surprisingly large decrease in Cdr1p expression; ~2.7-fold for every additional GC-pair added to the stem, while the mRNA levels remained largely unaffected. An mRNA stem-loop of seven GC-pairs (∆G = -15.8 kcal/mol) reduced Cdr1p expression levels by >99%, and even the smallest possible stem-loop of only three GC-pairs (∆G = -4.4 kcal/mol) inhibited

  2. Small, synthetic, GC-rich mRNA stem-loop modules 5′ proximal to the AUG start-codon predictably tune gene expression in yeast

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background A large range of genetic tools has been developed for the optimal design and regulation of complex metabolic pathways in bacteria. However, fewer tools exist in yeast that can precisely tune the expression of individual enzymes in novel metabolic pathways suitable for industrial-scale production of non-natural compounds. Tuning expression levels is critical for reducing the metabolic burden of over-expressed proteins, the accumulation of toxic intermediates, and for redirecting metabolic flux from native pathways involving essential enzymes without negatively affecting the viability of the host. We have developed a yeast membrane protein hyper-expression system with critical advantages over conventional, plasmid-based, expression systems. However, expression levels are sometimes so high that they adversely affect protein targeting/folding or the growth and/or phenotype of the host. Here we describe the use of small synthetic mRNA control modules that allowed us to predictably tune protein expression levels to any desired level. Down-regulation of expression was achieved by engineering small GC-rich mRNA stem-loops into the 5′ UTR that inhibited translation initiation of the yeast ribosomal 43S preinitiation complex (PIC). Results Exploiting the fact that the yeast 43S PIC has great difficulty scanning through GC-rich mRNA stem-loops, we created yeast strains containing 17 different RNA stem-loop modules in the 5′ UTR that expressed varying amounts of the fungal multidrug efflux pump reporter Cdr1p from Candida albicans. Increasing the length of mRNA stem-loops (that contained only GC-pairs) near the AUG start-codon led to a surprisingly large decrease in Cdr1p expression; ~2.7-fold for every additional GC-pair added to the stem, while the mRNA levels remained largely unaffected. An mRNA stem-loop of seven GC-pairs (∆G = −15.8 kcal/mol) reduced Cdr1p expression levels by >99%, and even the smallest possible stem-loop of only three GC-pairs (

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. An N‐terminal Peptide Extension Results in Efficient Expression, but not Secretion, of a Synthetic Horseradish Peroxidase Gene in Transgenic Tobacco

    Science.gov (United States)

    KIS, MIHALY; BURBRIDGE, EMMA; BROCK, IAN W.; HEGGIE, LAURA; DIX, PHILIP J.; KAVANAGH, TONY A.

    2004-01-01

    • Background and Aims Native horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) peroxidase, HRP (EC 1.11.1.7), isoenzyme C is synthesized with N‐terminal and C‐terminal peptide extensions, believed to be associated with protein targeting. This study aimed to explore the specific functions of these extensions, and to generate transgenic plants with expression patterns suitable for exploring the role of peroxidase in plant development and defence. • Methods Transgenic Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) plants expressing different versions of a synthetic horseradish peroxidase, HRP, isoenzyme C gene were constructed. The gene was engineered to include additional sequences coding for either the natural N‐terminal or the C‐terminal extension or both. These constructs were placed under the control of a constitutive promoter (CaMV‐35S) or the tobacco RUBISCO‐SSU light inducible promoter (SSU) and introduced into tobacco using Agrobacterium‐mediated transformation. To study the effects of the N‐ and C‐terminal extensions, the localization of recombinant peroxidase was determined using biochemical and molecular techniques. • Key Results Transgenic tobacco plants can exhibit a ten‐fold increase in peroxidase activity compared with wild‐type tobacco levels, and the majority of this activity is located in the symplast. The N‐terminal extension is essential for the production of high levels of recombinant protein, while the C‐terminal extension has little effect. Differences in levels of enzyme activity and recombinant protein are reflected in transcript levels. • Conclusions There is no evidence to support either preferential secretion or vacuolar targeting of recombinant peroxidase in this heterologous expression system. This leads us to question the postulated targeting roles of these peptide extensions. The N‐terminal extension is essential for high level expression and appears to influence transcript stability or translational efficiency. Plants have been

  6. 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.

  7. Non-viral gene therapy for bone tissue engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wegman, F.

    2013-01-01

    In bone tissue engineering bone morphogentic protein-2 (BMP-2) is one of the most commonly used growth factors. It induces stem cells to differentiate into the osteogenic lineage to form new bone. Clinically however, high dosages of protein are administered due to fast degradation, which is

  8. Non-viral gene therapy for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegman, Fiona; Oner, F Cumhur; Dhert, Wouter J A; Alblas, Jacqueline

    2013-01-01

    The possibilities of using gene therapy for bone regeneration have been extensively investigated. Improvements in the design of new transfection agents, combining vectors and delivery/release systems to diminish cytotoxicity and increase transfection efficiencies have led to several successful in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo strategies. These include growth factor or short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) delivery, or even enzyme replacement therapies, and have led to increased osteogenic differentiation and bone formation in vivo. These results provide optimism to consider use in humans with some of these gene-delivery strategies in the near future.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. Site-specific selfish genes as tools for the control and genetic engineering of natural populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burt, Austin

    2003-05-07

    Site-specific selfish genes exploit host functions to copy themselves into a defined target DNA sequence, and include homing endonuclease genes, group II introns and some LINE-like transposable elements. If such genes can be engineered to target new host sequences, then they can be used to manipulate natural populations, even if the number of individuals released is a small fraction of the entire population. For example, a genetic load sufficient to eradicate a population can be imposed in fewer than 20 generations, if the target is an essential host gene, the knockout is recessive and the selfish gene has an appropriate promoter. There will be selection for resistance, but several strategies are available for reducing the likelihood of it evolving. These genes may also be used to genetically engineer natural populations, by means of population-wide gene knockouts, gene replacements and genetic transformations. By targeting sex-linked loci just prior to meiosis one may skew the population sex ratio, and by changing the promoter one may limit the spread of the gene to neighbouring populations. The proposed constructs are evolutionarily stable in the face of the mutations most likely to arise during their spread, and strategies are also available for reversing the manipulations.

  13. Strategies for improving the nutritional quality of Phaseolus beans through gene engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kapila J.

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available Although Phaseolus species are still difficult to transform, progress in this field now opens the way to engineering beans with a higher nutritional value. The opportunities for gene engineering in nutritional quality improvement, the strategies which canbe adopted and the constraints we are still facing are briefly outlined, using the enhancement of the seed methionine content and the reduction in antinutritional factors as examples.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Synthetic analog computation in living cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel, Ramiz; Rubens, Jacob R; Sarpeshkar, Rahul; Lu, Timothy K

    2013-05-30

    A central goal of synthetic biology is to achieve multi-signal integration and processing in living cells for diagnostic, therapeutic and biotechnology applications. Digital logic has been used to build small-scale circuits, but other frameworks may be needed for efficient computation in the resource-limited environments of cells. Here we demonstrate that synthetic analog gene circuits can be engineered to execute sophisticated computational functions in living cells using just three transcription factors. Such synthetic analog gene circuits exploit feedback to implement logarithmically linear sensing, addition, ratiometric and power-law computations. The circuits exhibit Weber's law behaviour as in natural biological systems, operate over a wide dynamic range of up to four orders of magnitude and can be designed to have tunable transfer functions. Our circuits can be composed to implement higher-order functions that are well described by both intricate biochemical models and simple mathematical functions. By exploiting analog building-block functions that are already naturally present in cells, this approach efficiently implements arithmetic operations and complex functions in the logarithmic domain. Such circuits may lead to new applications for synthetic biology and biotechnology that require complex computations with limited parts, need wide-dynamic-range biosensing or would benefit from the fine control of gene expression.

  17. 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.

  18. Engineering nucleases for gene targeting: safety and regulatory considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauwels, Katia; Podevin, Nancy; Breyer, Didier; Carroll, Dana; Herman, Philippe

    2014-01-25

    Nuclease-based gene targeting (NBGT) represents a significant breakthrough in targeted genome editing since it is applicable from single-celled protozoa to human, including several species of economic importance. Along with the fast progress in NBGT and the increasing availability of customized nucleases, more data are available about off-target effects associated with the use of this approach. We discuss how NBGT may offer a new perspective for genetic modification, we address some aspects crucial for a safety improvement of the corresponding techniques and we also briefly relate the use of NBGT applications and products to the regulatory oversight. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. The collective biology of the gene: Towards genetic dynamics engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, J.

    1985-11-01

    Chromatin dynamics is studied in terms of coupled vibrations (phonon pairing); this is shown to lead to a collective variable Δ, interpreted as a gene inhibition factor, which behaves as a biological switch turned off, not only by enzymatic action or metabolic energy, but also by means of an external probe:irradiation. We discuss the inactivation of the X chromosome and puffing. The relevance of being able to modulate Δ is emphasized, since it is equivalent to controlling chromatin dynamics without interfering with chromatin structure, unlike in the usual recombinant DNA techniques. (author)

  20. Synthetic biology in mammalian cells: Next generation research tools and therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lienert, Florian; Lohmueller, Jason J; Garg, Abhishek; Silver, Pamela A

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in DNA manipulation and gene circuit engineering has greatly improved our ability to programme and probe mammalian cell behaviour. These advances have led to a new generation of synthetic biology research tools and potential therapeutic applications. Programmable DNA-binding domains and RNA regulators are leading to unprecedented control of gene expression and elucidation of gene function. Rebuilding complex biological circuits such as T cell receptor signalling in isolation from their natural context has deepened our understanding of network motifs and signalling pathways. Synthetic biology is also leading to innovative therapeutic interventions based on cell-based therapies, protein drugs, vaccines and gene therapies. PMID:24434884

  1. 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...

  2. A semi-supervised learning approach to predict synthetic genetic interactions by combining functional and topological properties of functional gene network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Kyungsook

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic interaction profiles are highly informative and helpful for understanding the functional linkages between genes, and therefore have been extensively exploited for annotating gene functions and dissecting specific pathway structures. However, our understanding is rather limited to the relationship between double concurrent perturbation and various higher level phenotypic changes, e.g. those in cells, tissues or organs. Modifier screens, such as synthetic genetic arrays (SGA can help us to understand the phenotype caused by combined gene mutations. Unfortunately, exhaustive tests on all possible combined mutations in any genome are vulnerable to combinatorial explosion and are infeasible either technically or financially. Therefore, an accurate computational approach to predict genetic interaction is highly desirable, and such methods have the potential of alleviating the bottleneck on experiment design. Results In this work, we introduce a computational systems biology approach for the accurate prediction of pairwise synthetic genetic interactions (SGI. First, a high-coverage and high-precision functional gene network (FGN is constructed by integrating protein-protein interaction (PPI, protein complex and gene expression data; then, a graph-based semi-supervised learning (SSL classifier is utilized to identify SGI, where the topological properties of protein pairs in weighted FGN is used as input features of the classifier. We compare the proposed SSL method with the state-of-the-art supervised classifier, the support vector machines (SVM, on a benchmark dataset in S. cerevisiae to validate our method's ability to distinguish synthetic genetic interactions from non-interaction gene pairs. Experimental results show that the proposed method can accurately predict genetic interactions in S. cerevisiae (with a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 91%. Noticeably, the SSL method is more efficient than SVM, especially for

  3. Synthetic Defects for Vibrothermography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renshaw, Jeremy; Holland, Stephen D.; Thompson, R. Bruce; Eisenmann, David J.

    2010-02-01

    Synthetic defects are an important tool used for characterizing the performance of nondestructive evaluation techniques. Viscous material-filled synthetic defects were developed for use in vibrothermography (also known as sonic IR) as a tool to improve inspection accuracy and reliability. This paper describes how the heat-generation response of these VMF synthetic defects is similar to the response of real defects. It also shows how VMF defects can be applied to improve inspection accuracy for complex industrial parts and presents a study of their application in an aircraft engine stator vane.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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 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.

  9. Grafting synthetic transmembrane units to the engineered low-toxicity α-hemolysin to restore its hemolytic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ui, Mihoko; Harima, Kousuke; Takei, Toshiaki; Tsumoto, Kouhei; Tabata, Kazuhito V; Noji, Hiroyuki; Endo, Sumire; Akiyama, Kimio; Muraoka, Takahiro; Kinbara, Kazushi

    2014-12-01

    The chemical modification of proteins to provide desirable functions and/or structures broadens their possibilities for use in various applications. Usually, proteins can acquire new functions and characteristics, in addition to their original ones, via the introduction of synthetic functional moieties. Here, we adopted a more radical approach to protein modification, i.e., the replacement of a functional domain of proteins with alternative chemical compounds to build "cyborg proteins." As a proof of concept model, we chose staphylococcal α-hemolysin (Hla), which is a well-studied, pore-forming toxin. The hemolytic activity of Hla mutants was dramatically decreased by truncation of the stem domain, which forms a β-barrel pore in the membrane. However, the impaired hemolytic activity was significantly restored by attaching a pyrenyl-maleimide unit to the cysteine residue that was introduced in the remaining stem domain. In contrast, negatively charged fluorescein-maleimide completely abolished the remaining activity of the mutants.

  10. Tissue engineering of bladder using vascular endothelial growth factor gene-modified endothelial progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bai-Song; Xie, Hua; Zhang, Sheng-Li; Geng, Hong-Quan; Zhou, Jun-Mei; Pan, Jun; Chen, Fang

    2011-12-01

    This study assessed the use of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene-modified endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) seeded onto bladder acellular matrix grafts (BAMGs), to enhance the blood supply in tissue-engineered bladders in a porcine model. Autologous porcine peripheral EPCs were isolated, cultured, expanded, characterized, and modified with the VEGF gene using an adenovirus vector. The expression of VEGF was examined using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). VEGF gene modified EPCs were seeded onto BAMG and cultured for 3 days before implantation into pigs for bladder tissue engineering. A partial bladder cystectomy was performed in 12 pigs. The experimental group (6 pigs) received VEGF gene-modified EPC-seeded BAMG. The control group (6 pigs) received BAMG without seeded EPCs. The resulting tissue-engineered bladders were subject to a general and histological analysis. Microvessel density (MVD) was assessed using immunohistochemistry. The ex vivo transfection efficiency of EPCs was greater than 60%-70% when concentrated adenovirus was used. The genetically modified cells expressed both VEGF and green fluorescent protein (GFP). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Masson's trichrome staining of cross sections of the cultured cells seeded to BAMG showed cell attachment and proliferation on the surface of the BAMG. Histological examination revealed bladder regeneration in a time-dependent fashion. Significant increases in MVD were observed in the experimental group, in comparison with the control group. VEGF-modified EPCs significantly enhanced neovascularization, compared with BAMG alone. These results indicate that EPCs, combined with VEGF gene therapy, may be a suitable approach for increasing blood supply in the tissue engineering of bladders. Thus, a useful strategy to achieve a tissue-engineered bladder is indicated.

  11. Introduction and expression of genes for metabolic engineering applications in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Silva, Nancy A; Srikrishnan, Sneha

    2012-03-01

    Metabolic pathway engineering in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae leads to improved production of a wide range of compounds, ranging from ethanol (from biomass) to natural products such as sesquiterpenes. The introduction of multienzyme pathways requires precise control over the level and timing of expression of the associated genes. Gene number and promoter strength/regulation are two critical control points, and multiple studies have focused on modulating these in yeast. This MiniReview focuses on methods for introducing genes and controlling their copy number and on the many promoters (both constitutive and inducible) that have been successfully employed. The advantages and disadvantages of the methods will be presented, and applications to pathway engineering will be highlighted. © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Re-Factoring Glycolytic Genes for Targeted Engineering of Catabolism in Gram-Negative Bacteria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sánchez-Pascuala, Alberto; Nikel, Pablo I.; de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2018-01-01

    the potential applications of such a portable tool for targeted pathway engineering, in the present protocol we describe how the genes encoding all the enzymes of the linear EMP route have been individually recruited from the genome of E. coli K-12, edited in silico to remove their endogenous regulatory signals......The Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway is widely accepted to be the biochemical standard of glucose catabolism. The well-characterized glycolytic route of Escherichia coli, based on the EMP catabolism, is an example of an intricate pathway in terms of genomic organization of the genes involved...... and patterns of gene expression and regulation. This intrinsic genetic and metabolic complexity renders it difficult to engineer glycolytic activities and transfer them onto other microbial cell factories, thus limiting the biotechnological potential of bacterial hosts that lack the route. Taking into account...

  13. 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

  14. Opportunities in plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Charis; Martin, Lisa; Bastow, Ruth

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging field uniting scientists from all disciplines with the aim of designing or re-designing biological processes. Initially, synthetic biology breakthroughs came from microbiology, chemistry, physics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. A transition to multicellular systems is the next logical step for synthetic biologists and plants will provide an ideal platform for this new phase of research. This meeting report highlights some of the exciting plant synthetic biology projects, and tools and resources, presented and discussed at the 2013 GARNet workshop on plant synthetic biology.

  15. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools......, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex...... regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal...

  17. Assembly and multiple gene expression of thermophilic enzymes in Escherichia coli for in vitro metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninh, Pham Huynh; Honda, Kohsuke; Sakai, Takaaki; Okano, Kenji; Ohtake, Hisao

    2015-01-01

    In vitro reconstitution of an artificial metabolic pathway is an emerging approach for the biocatalytic production of industrial chemicals. However, several enzymes have to be separately prepared (and purified) for the construction of an in vitro metabolic pathway, thereby limiting the practical applicability of this approach. In this study, genes encoding the nine thermophilic enzymes involved in a non-ATP-forming chimeric glycolytic pathway were assembled in an artificial operon and co-expressed in a single recombinant Escherichia coli strain. Gene expression levels of the thermophilic enzymes were controlled by their sequential order in the artificial operon. The specific activities of the recombinant enzymes in the cell-free extract of the multiple-gene-expression E. coli were 5.0-1,370 times higher than those in an enzyme cocktail prepared from a mixture of single-gene-expression strains, in each of which a single one of the nine thermophilic enzymes was overproduced. Heat treatment of a crude extract of the multiple-gene-expression cells led to the denaturation of indigenous proteins and one-step preparation of an in vitro synthetic pathway comprising only a limited number of thermotolerant enzymes. Coupling this in vitro pathway with other thermophilic enzymes including the H2 O-forming NADH oxidase or the malate/lactate dehydrogenase facilitated one-pot conversion of glucose to pyruvate or lactate, respectively. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Use of synthetic genes for cloning, production and functional expression of the bacteriocins enterocin A and bacteriocin E 50-52 by Pichia pastoris and Kluyveromyces lactis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Juan J; Borrero, Juan; Gútiez, Loreto; Arbulu, Sara; Herranz, Carmen; Cintas, Luis M; Hernández, Pablo E

    2014-06-01

    The use of synthetic genes may constitute a successful approach for the heterologous production and functional expression of bacterial antimicrobial peptides (bacteriocins) by recombinant yeasts. In this work, synthetic genes with adapted codon usage designed from the mature amino acid sequence of the bacteriocin enterocin A (EntA), produced by Enterococcus faecium T136, and the mature bacteriocin E 50-52 (BacE50-52), produced by E. faecium NRRL B-32746, were synthesized. The synthetic entA and bacE50-52 were cloned into the protein expression vectors pPICZαA and pKLAC2 for transformation of derived vectors into Pichia pastoris X-33 and Kluyveromyces lactis GG799, respectively. The recombinant vectors were linearized and transformed into competent cells selecting for P. pastoris X-33EAS (entA), P. pastoris X-33BE50-52S (bacE50-52), K. lactis GG799EAS (entA), and K. lactis GG799BE50-52S (bacE50-52). P. pastoris X-33EAS and K. lactis GG799EAS, but not P. pastoris X-33BE50-52S and K. lactis GG799BE50-52S, showed antimicrobial activity in their supernatants. However, purification of the supernatants of the producer yeasts permitted recovery of the bacteriocins EntA and BacE50-52. Both purified bacteriocins were active against Gram-positive bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes but not against Gram-negative bacteria, including Campylobacter jejuni.

  2. 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

  3. Effect of endogenous reference genes on digital PCR assessment of genetically engineered canola events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tigst Demeke

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR has been used for absolute quantification of genetically engineered (GE events. Absolute quantification of GE events by duplex ddPCR requires the use of appropriate primers and probes for target and reference gene sequences in order to accurately determine the amount of GE materials. Single copy reference genes are generally preferred for absolute quantification of GE events by ddPCR. Study has not been conducted on a comparison of reference genes for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR. The suitability of four endogenous reference sequences (HMG-I/Y, FatA(A, CruA and Ccf for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR was investigated. The effect of DNA extraction methods and DNA quality on the assessment of reference gene copy numbers was also investigated. ddPCR results were affected by the use of single vs. two copy reference genes. The single copy, FatA(A, reference gene was found to be stable and suitable for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR. For the copy numbers measured, the HMG-I/Y reference gene was less consistent than FatA(A reference gene. The expected ddPCR values were underestimated when CruA and Ccf (two copy endogenous Cruciferin sequences were used because of high number of copies. It is important to make an adjustment if two copy reference genes are used for ddPCR in order to obtain accurate results. On the other hand, real-time quantitative PCR results were not affected by the use of single vs. two copy reference genes. Keywords: Canola, Digital PCR, DNA extraction, GMO, Reference genes

  4. Accessing Synthetically-Challenging Isoindole-Based Materials for Assessment in Organic Photovoltaics via Chemical and Engineering Methodologies =

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Jeremy

    Isoindoles are a broad class of compounds that comprise a very small space within the domain of established photoactive materials for organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Given this scarcity, combined with the performance appeal of presently and well known isoindole-based compounds such as the phthalocyanines, it is a worthy undertaking to develop new materials in this domain. This thesis aims to bring to light the suitability of five novel, or underexplored, classes of isoindole-based materials for OPVs. These classes are the boron subphthalocyanine (BsubPc) polymers, oxygen-bridged dimers of BsubPcs (mu-oxo-(BsubPc) 2), boron subnaphthalocyanines (BsubNcs), group XIII metal complexes of 1,3-bis(2-pyridylimino)isodinoline (BPI), and the boron tribenzosubporphyrins (BsubPys). The synthesis of these materials was proven to be challenging as evident in their low isolated yields, lengthy synthetic and purification processes, and/or batch-to-batch variations. This outcome was not surprising given their undeveloped chemical nature. The photo- and electro-physical properties were characterized and shown to be desirable for all classes other than the group XIII metal complexes of BPI for OPVs. mu-Oxo-(BsubPc)2 and BsubNcs show promise in this application while BsubPc polymers and BsubPys will be subjects of future exploration. The results from the work herein aid to develop and strengthen the fundamental understanding of the structure-property relationships of isoindole derivatives. On a broader scale, the work demonstrates their versatility as functional materials for OPVs and their possible expansion to other organic electronic technologies like organic light emitting diodes and organic field effect transistors.

  5. 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/.

  6. Building synthetic cellular organization

    OpenAIRE

    Polka, Jessica K.; Silver, Pamela A.

    2013-01-01

    The elaborate spatial organization of cells enhances, restricts, and regulates protein–protein interactions. However, the biological significance of this organization has been difficult to study without ways of directly perturbing it. We highlight synthetic biology tools for engineering novel cellular organization, describing how they have been, and can be, used to advance cell biology.

  7. Engineered promoters enable constant gene expression at any copy number in bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segall-Shapiro, Thomas H; Sontag, Eduardo D; Voigt, Christopher A

    2018-04-01

    The internal environment of growing cells is variable and dynamic, making it difficult to introduce reliable parts, such as promoters, for genetic engineering. Here, we applied control-theoretic ideas to design promoters that maintained constant levels of expression at any copy number. Theory predicts that independence to copy number can be achieved by using an incoherent feedforward loop (iFFL) if the negative regulation is perfectly non-cooperative. We engineered iFFLs into Escherichia coli promoters using transcription-activator-like effectors (TALEs). These promoters had near-identical expression in different genome locations and plasmids, even when their copy number was perturbed by genomic mutations or changes in growth medium composition. We applied the stabilized promoters to show that a three-gene metabolic pathway to produce deoxychromoviridans could retain function without re-tuning when the stabilized-promoter-driven genes were moved from a plasmid into the genome.

  8. Effect of endogenous reference genes on digital PCR assessment of genetically engineered canola events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demeke, Tigst; Eng, Monika

    2018-05-01

    Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) has been used for absolute quantification of genetically engineered (GE) events. Absolute quantification of GE events by duplex ddPCR requires the use of appropriate primers and probes for target and reference gene sequences in order to accurately determine the amount of GE materials. Single copy reference genes are generally preferred for absolute quantification of GE events by ddPCR. Study has not been conducted on a comparison of reference genes for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR. The suitability of four endogenous reference sequences ( HMG-I/Y , FatA(A), CruA and Ccf) for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR was investigated. The effect of DNA extraction methods and DNA quality on the assessment of reference gene copy numbers was also investigated. ddPCR results were affected by the use of single vs. two copy reference genes. The single copy, FatA(A), reference gene was found to be stable and suitable for absolute quantification of GE canola events by ddPCR. For the copy numbers measured, the HMG-I/Y reference gene was less consistent than FatA(A) reference gene. The expected ddPCR values were underestimated when CruA and Ccf (two copy endogenous Cruciferin sequences) were used because of high number of copies. It is important to make an adjustment if two copy reference genes are used for ddPCR in order to obtain accurate results. On the other hand, real-time quantitative PCR results were not affected by the use of single vs. two copy reference genes.

  9. Impact of Transgenic Brassica napus Harboring the Antifungal Synthetic Chitinase (NiC Gene on Rhizosphere Microbial Diversity and Enzyme Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad S. Khan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Transgenic Brassica napus harboring the synthetic chitinase (NiC gene exhibits broad-spectrum antifungal resistance. As the rhizosphere microorganisms play an important role in element cycling and nutrient transformation, therefore, biosafety assessment of NiC containing transgenic plants on soil ecosystem is a regulatory requirement. The current study is designed to evaluate the impact of NiC gene on the rhizosphere enzyme activities and microbial community structure. The transgenic lines with the synthetic chitinase gene (NiC showed resistance to Alternaria brassicicola, a common disease causing fungal pathogen. The rhizosphere enzyme analysis showed no significant difference in the activities of fivesoil enzymes: alkalyine phosphomonoestarase, arylsulphatase, β-glucosidase, urease and sucrase between the transgenic and non-transgenic lines of B. napus varieties, Durr-e-NIFA (DN and Abasyne-95 (AB-95. However, varietal differences were observed based on the analysis of molecular variance. Some individual enzymes were significantly different in the transgenic lines from those of non-transgenic but the results were not reproducible in the second trail and thus were considered as environmental effect. Genotypic diversity of soil microbes through 16S–23S rRNA intergenic spacer region amplification was conducted to evaluate the potential impact of the transgene. No significant diversity (4% for bacteria and 12% for fungal between soil microbes of NiC B. napus and the non-transgenic lines was found. However, significant varietal differences were observed between DN and AB-95 with 79% for bacterial and 54% for fungal diversity. We conclude that the NiC B. napus lines may not affect the microbial enzyme activities and community structure of the rhizosphere soil. Varietal differences might be responsible for minor changes in the tested parameters.

  10. 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.

  11. Plasmid DNA transfection using magnetite cationic liposomes for construction of multilayered gene-engineered cell sheet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ino, Kosuke; Kawasumi, Tamayo; Ito, Akira; Honda, Hiroyuki

    2008-05-01

    Modification of cellular functions by overexpression of genes is being increasingly practiced for tissue engineering. In the present study, we investigated whether transfection efficiency could be enhanced by magnetofection that involves the use of plasmid DNA (pDNA)/magnetite cationic liposomes (MCLs) complexes (pDNA/MCL) and magnetic force. The transfection efficiencies of the magnetofection technique by pDNA/MCL in fibroblasts and keratinocytes using reporter genes were 36- and 10-fold higher, respectively, than those of a lipofection technique by cationic liposomes. Moreover, in vitro construction of three-dimensional (3D) tissues is an important challenge. We recently proposed a novel technique termed "magnetic force-based tissue engineering" (Mag-TE) to produce 3D tissues. Since the fibroblasts after magnetofection incorporated both magnetite nanoparticles and pDNA, we investigated whether multilayered heterotypic cell sheets expressing transgene could be fabricated by Mag-TE. First, the fibroblasts were seeded onto an ultra-low attachment culture plate. When a magnet was placed under the plate, the cells accumulated at the bottom of the culture plate. After 24 h of culture, the transgene-expressing cells formed a multilayered cell sheet-like structure. These results indicated that MCLs are a potent biomanipulation tool for both gene transfer and 3D tissue construction, suggesting that these techniques are useful for tissue engineering. Copyright 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Design and engineering of intracellular-metabolite-sensing/regulation gene circuits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Meng; Li, Sijin; Zhao, Huimin

    2016-01-01

    The development of high-throughput phenotyping tools is lagging far behind the rapid advances of genotype generation methods. To bridge this gap, we report a new strategy for design, construction, and fine-tuning of intracellular-metabolite-sensing/regulation gene circuits by repurposing bacterial transcription factors and eukaryotic promoters. As proof of concept, we systematically investigated the design and engineering of bacterial repressor-based xylose-sensing/regulation gene circuits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We demonstrated that numerous properties, such as induction ratio and dose-response curve, can be fine-tuned at three different nodes, including repressor expression level, operator position, and operator sequence. By applying these gene circuits, we developed a cell sorting based, rapid and robust high-throughput screening method for xylose transporter engineering and obtained a sugar transporter HXT14 mutant with 6.5-fold improvement in xylose transportation capacity. This strategy should be generally applicable and highly useful for evolutionary engineering of proteins, pathways, and genomes in S. cerevisiae. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Re-Factoring Glycolytic Genes for Targeted Engineering of Catabolism in Gram-Negative Bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Pascuala, Alberto; Nikel, Pablo I; de Lorenzo, Víctor

    2018-01-01

    The Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway is widely accepted to be the biochemical standard of glucose catabolism. The well-characterized glycolytic route of Escherichia coli, based on the EMP catabolism, is an example of an intricate pathway in terms of genomic organization of the genes involved and patterns of gene expression and regulation. This intrinsic genetic and metabolic complexity renders it difficult to engineer glycolytic activities and transfer them onto other microbial cell factories, thus limiting the biotechnological potential of bacterial hosts that lack the route. Taking into account the potential applications of such a portable tool for targeted pathway engineering, in the present protocol we describe how the genes encoding all the enzymes of the linear EMP route have been individually recruited from the genome of E. coli K-12, edited in silico to remove their endogenous regulatory signals, and synthesized de novo following a standard (i.e., GlucoBrick) that facilitates their grouping in the form of functional modules that can be combined at the user's will. This novel genetic tool allows for the à la carte implementation or boosting of EMP pathway activities into different Gram-negative bacteria. The potential of the GlucoBrick platform is further illustrated by engineering novel glycolytic activities in the most representative members of the Pseudomonas genus (Pseudomonas putida and Pseudomonas aeruginosa).

  14. Overexpression of the Synthetic Chimeric Native-T-phylloplanin-GFP Genes Optimized for Monocot and Dicot Plants Renders Enhanced Resistance to Blue Mold Disease in Tobacco (N. tabacum L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dipak K. Sahoo

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available To enhance the natural plant resistance and to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of phylloplanin against blue mold, we have expressed a synthetic chimeric native-phylloplanin-GFP protein fusion in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum cv. KY14, a cultivar that is highly susceptible to infection by Peronospora tabacina. The coding sequence of the tobacco phylloplanin gene along with its native signal peptide was fused with GFP at the carboxy terminus. The synthetic chimeric gene (native-phylloplanin-GFP was placed between the modified Mirabilis mosaic virus full-length transcript promoter with duplicated enhancer domains and the terminator sequence from the rbcSE9 gene. The chimeric gene, expressed in transgenic tobacco, was stably inherited in successive plant generations as shown by molecular characterization, GFP quantification, and confocal fluorescent microscopy. Transgenic plants were morphologically similar to wild-type plants and showed no deleterious effects due to transgene expression. Blue mold-sensitivity assays of tobacco lines were performed by applying P. tabacina sporangia to the upper leaf surface. Transgenic lines expressing the fused synthetic native-phyllopanin-GFP gene in the leaf apoplast showed resistance to infection. Our results demonstrate that in vivo expression of a synthetic fused native-phylloplanin-GFP gene in plants can potentially achieve natural protection against microbial plant pathogens, including P. tabacina in tobacco.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. * Three-Dimensional Bioprinting of Polycaprolactone Reinforced Gene Activated Bioinks for Bone Tissue Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunniffe, Gráinne M; Gonzalez-Fernandez, Tomas; Daly, Andrew; Sathy, Binulal N; Jeon, Oju; Alsberg, Eben; Kelly, Daniel J

    2017-09-01

    Regeneration of complex bone defects remains a significant clinical challenge. Multi-tool biofabrication has permitted the combination of various biomaterials to create multifaceted composites with tailorable mechanical properties and spatially controlled biological function. In this study we sought to use bioprinting to engineer nonviral gene activated constructs reinforced by polymeric micro-filaments. A gene activated bioink was developed using RGD-γ-irradiated alginate and nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) complexed to plasmid DNA (pDNA). This ink was combined with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and then co-printed with a polycaprolactone supporting mesh to provide mechanical stability to the construct. Reporter genes were first used to demonstrate successful cell transfection using this system, with sustained expression of the transgene detected over 14 days postbioprinting. Delivery of a combination of therapeutic genes encoding for bone morphogenic protein and transforming growth factor promoted robust osteogenesis of encapsulated MSCs in vitro, with enhanced levels of matrix deposition and mineralization observed following the incorporation of therapeutic pDNA. Gene activated MSC-laden constructs were then implanted subcutaneously, directly postfabrication, and were found to support superior levels of vascularization and mineralization compared to cell-free controls. These results validate the use of a gene activated bioink to impart biological functionality to three-dimensional bioprinted constructs.

  19. 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

    Mathematical models of metabolism from bacterial systems biology have proven their utility across multiple fields, for example metabolic engineering, growth phenotype simulation, and biological discovery. The usefulness of the models stems from their ability to compute a link between genotype...... of metabolic models, and highlight one potential application of systems biology to drug discovery and translational medicine....

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Current status of synthetic epikeratoplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, K P; Hanna, K; Waring, G O; Gipson, I; Liu, Y; Gailitis, R P; Johnson-Wint, B; Green, K

    1991-01-01

    Many of the deficiencies with human tissue epikeratoplasty might be improved by the use of a suitable synthetic lenticule. Potential biomaterials for epikeratoplasty include collagen (types I, III, or IV), collagen-hydrogel copolymers, bioactive synthetics, and coated hydrogels. The biomaterial must be engineered to achieve strict specifications of optical clarity, support of epithelial migration and adhesion, permeability to solutes, and stability to corneal proteases. Attaching synthetic lenticules to the cornea without cutting Bowman's layer by adhesives, laser welding, or direct adhesion may also improve the efficacy of synthetic epikeratoplasty.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Culture of equine fibroblast-like synoviocytes on synthetic tissue scaffolds towards meniscal tissue engineering: a preliminary cell-seeding study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer J. Warnock

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Tissue engineering is a new methodology for addressing meniscal injury or loss. Synovium may be an ideal source of cells for in vitro meniscal fibrocartilage formation, however, favorable in vitro culture conditions for synovium must be established in order to achieve this goal. The objective of this study was to determine cellularity, cell distribution, and extracellular matrix (ECM formation of equine fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS cultured on synthetic scaffolds, for potential application in synovium-based meniscal tissue engineering. Scaffolds included open-cell poly-L-lactic acid (OPLA sponges and polyglycolic acid (PGA scaffolds cultured in static and dynamic culture conditions, and PGA scaffolds coated in poly-L-lactic (PLLA in dynamic culture conditions.Materials and Methods. Equine FLS were seeded on OPLA and PGA scaffolds, and cultured in a static environment or in a rotating bioreactor for 12 days. Equine FLS were also seeded on PGA scaffolds coated in 2% or 4% PLLA and cultured in a rotating bioreactor for 14 and 21 days. Three scaffolds from each group were fixed, sectioned and stained with Masson’s Trichrome, Safranin-O, and Hematoxylin and Eosin, and cell numbers and distribution were analyzed using computer image analysis. Three PGA and OPLA scaffolds from each culture condition were also analyzed for extracellular matrix (ECM production via dimethylmethylene blue (sulfated glycosaminoglycan assay and hydroxyproline (collagen assay. PLLA coated PGA scaffolds were analyzed using double stranded DNA quantification as areflection of cellularity and confocal laser microscopy in a fluorescent cell viability assay.Results. The highest cellularity occurred in PGA constructs cultured in a rotating bioreactor, which also had a mean sulfated glycosaminoglycan content of 22.3 µg per scaffold. PGA constructs cultured in static conditions had the lowest cellularity. Cells had difficulty adhering to OPLA and the PLLA

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivics, Zoltán; Izsvák, Zsuzsanna

    2010-12-07

    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 (sh)RNA 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. 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).

  10. Towards evolution-guided microbial engineering - tools development and applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Genee, Hans Jasper

    is thedevelopment of highly robust biosensor-based synthetic selection systemsthat enable high-throughput functional interrogation of complexphenotypic libraries. Using the model organism Escherichia coli as a host, Ideploy these systems to i) perform metagenome wide sequenceindependentidentification of novel...... for microbial engineering anddemonstrates direct applications to gene discovery, protein engineering andcell factory development....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitta, Sachiko Kaihara; Numata, Keiji

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23344060

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. "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.

  17. Targeted introgression of a wheat stem rust resistance gene by DNA marker-assisted chromosome engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Zhixia; Klindworth, Daryl L; Friesen, Timothy L; Chao, Shiaoman; Jin, Yue; Cai, Xiwen; Xu, Steven S

    2011-04-01

    Chromosome engineering is a useful strategy for transfer of alien genes from wild relatives into modern crops. However, this strategy has not been extensively used for alien gene introgression in most crops due to low efficiency of conventional cytogenetic techniques. Here, we report an improved scheme of chromosome engineering for efficient elimination of a large amount of goatgrass (Aegilops speltoides) chromatin surrounding Sr39, a gene that provides resistance to multiple stem rust races, including Ug99 (TTKSK) in wheat. The wheat ph1b mutation, which promotes meiotic pairing between homoeologous chromosomes, was employed to induce recombination between wheat chromosome 2B and goatgrass 2S chromatin using a backcross scheme favorable for inducing and detecting the homoeologous recombinants with small goatgrass chromosome segments. Forty recombinants with Sr39 with reduced surrounding goatgrass chromatin were quickly identified from 1048 backcross progenies through disease screening and molecular marker analysis. Four of the recombinants carrying Sr39 with a minimal amount of goatgrass chromatin (2.87-9.15% of the translocated chromosomes) were verified using genomic in situ hybridization. Approximately 97% of the goatgrass chromatin was eliminated in one of the recombinants, in which a tiny goatgrass chromosome segment containing Sr39 was retained in the wheat genome. Localization of the goatgrass chromatin in the recombinants led to rapid development of three molecular markers tightly linked to Sr39. The new wheat lines and markers provide useful resources for the ongoing global effort to combat Ug99. This study has demonstrated great potential of chromosome engineering in genome manipulation for plant improvement.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The PLOS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection: Six Years and Counting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccoud, Jean; Isalan, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Since it was launched in 2006, PLOS ONE has published over fifty articles illustrating the many facets of the emerging field of synthetic biology. This article reviews these publications by organizing them into broad categories focused on DNA synthesis and assembly techniques, the development of libraries of biological parts, the use of synthetic biology in protein engineering applications, and the engineering of gene regulatory networks and metabolic pathways. Finally, we review articles that describe enabling technologies such as software and modeling, along with new instrumentation. In order to increase the visibility of this body of work, the papers have been assembled into the PLOS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection (www.ploscollections.org/synbio). Many of the innovative features of the PLOS ONE web site will help make this collection a resource that will support a lively dialogue between readers and authors of PLOS ONE synthetic biology papers. The content of the collection will be updated periodically by including relevant articles as they are published by the journal. Thus, we hope that this collection will continue to meet the publishing needs of the synthetic biology community. PMID:22916228

  2. 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

  3. Changes in gene transcription and whole organism responses in larval fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) following short-term exposure to the synthetic pyrethroid bifenthrin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beggel, Sebastian; Connon, Richard; Werner, Inge; Geist, Juergen

    2011-09-01

    The combination of molecular and whole-organism endpoints in ecotoxicology provides valuable information about the ecological relevance of sublethal stressor effects in aquatic ecosystems such as those caused by the use of insecticides and translocation of their residues into surface waters. This study contributes knowledge about the sublethal effects of a common use insecticide, the synthetic pyrethroid bifenthrin, on larval fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas). Transcriptomic responses, assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, combined with individual effects on swimming performance were used to estimate the ecological relevance of insecticide impacts. Significant transcriptomic responses were observed at 0.07 μg L(-1) bifenthrin (lowest observed effect concentration, LOEC) but mostly followed a biphasic rather than a linear dose-response with increasing concentration. Transcript patterns for genes involved in detoxification, neuromuscular function and energy metabolism were linked to an impairment of swimming performance at ≥0.14 μg L(-1) bifenthrin. With increasing treatment concentration, a significant down-regulation was observed for genes coding for cyp3a, aspartoacylase, and creatine kinase, whereas metallothionein was up-regulated. Additionally, bifenthrin induced endocrine responses as evident from a significant up-regulation of vitellogenin and down-regulation of insuline-like growth factor transcripts. Recovery occurred after 6 days and was dependent on the magnitude of the initial stress. During the recovery period, down-regulation of vitellogenin was observed at lowest exposure concentrations. The data presented here emphasize that links can be made between gene transcription changes and behavioral responses which is of great value for the evaluation and interpretation of biomarker responses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Gene Amplification on Demand Accelerates Cellobiose Utilization in Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Eun Joong; Skerker, Jeffrey M; Kim, Soo Rin; Wei, Na; Turner, Timothy L; Maurer, Matthew J; Arkin, Adam P; Jin, Yong-Su

    2016-06-15

    Efficient microbial utilization of cellulosic sugars is essential for the economic production of biofuels and chemicals. Although the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a robust microbial platform widely used in ethanol plants using sugar cane and corn starch in large-scale operations, glucose repression is one of the significant barriers to the efficient fermentation of cellulosic sugar mixtures. A recent study demonstrated that intracellular utilization of cellobiose by engineered yeast expressing a cellobiose transporter (encoded by cdt-1) and an intracellular β-glucosidase (encoded by gh1-1) can alleviate glucose repression, resulting in the simultaneous cofermentation of cellobiose and nonglucose sugars. Here we report enhanced cellobiose fermentation by engineered yeast expressing cdt-1 and gh1-1 through laboratory evolution. When cdt-1 and gh1-1 were integrated into the genome of yeast, the single copy integrant showed a low cellobiose consumption rate. However, cellobiose fermentation rates by engineered yeast increased gradually during serial subcultures on cellobiose. Finally, an evolved strain exhibited a 15-fold-higher cellobiose fermentation rate. To identify the responsible mutations in the evolved strain, genome sequencing was performed. Interestingly, no mutations affecting cellobiose fermentation were identified, but the evolved strain contained 9 copies of cdt-1 and 23 copies of gh1-1 We also traced the copy numbers of cdt-1 and gh1-1 of mixed populations during the serial subcultures. The copy numbers of cdt-1 and gh1-1 in the cultures increased gradually with similar ratios as cellobiose fermentation rates of the cultures increased. These results suggest that the cellobiose assimilation pathway (transport and hydrolysis) might be a rate-limiting step in engineered yeast and copies of genes coding for metabolic enzymes might be amplified in yeast if there is a growth advantage. This study indicates that on-demand gene amplification might be an

  5. Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-16

    Nominee, ENI Award 2011-12 Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study 2011- Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professorship of Biochemistry and...alternative electrofuels 2011 Nominee, ENI Award 2011-12 Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study 2011- Elliot T. and Onie H

  6. 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.

  7. Development of synthetic selfish elements based on modular nucleases in Drosophila melanogaster

    OpenAIRE

    Simoni, A; Siniscalchi, C; Chan, Y-S; Huen, DS; Russell, S; Windbichler, N; Crisanti, A

    2014-01-01

    Selfish genes are DNA elements that increase their rate of genetic transmission at the expense of other genes in the genome and can therefore quickly spread within a population. It has been suggested that selfish elements could be exploited to modify the genome of entire populations for medical and ecological applications. Here we report that transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) can be engineered into site-specific synthetic selfish elements (S...

  8. Genetic control of mammalian T-cell proliferation with synthetic RNA regulatory systems

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Yvonne Y.; Jensen, Michael C.; Smolke, Christina D.

    2010-01-01

    RNA molecules perform diverse regulatory functions in natural biological systems, and numerous synthetic RNA-based control devices that integrate sensing and gene-regulatory functions have been demonstrated, predominantly in bacteria and yeast. Despite potential advantages of RNA-based genetic control strategies in clinical applications, there has been limited success in extending engineered RNA devices to mammalian gene-expression control and no example of their application to functional res...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Synthetic Electric Microbial Biosensors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-06-10

    domains and DNA-binding domains into a single protein for deregulation of down stream genes of have been favored [10]. Initially experiments with... Germany DISTRIBUTION A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited.   Talk title: “Synthetic biology based microbial biosensors for the...toolbox” in Heidelberg, Germany Poster title: “Anaerobic whole cell microbial biosensors” Link: http://phdsymposium.embl.org/#home   September, 2014

  15. Connective tissue-activating peptide III (CTAP-III): cloning the synthetic gene and characterization of the protein expressed in E. coli

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, P.H.; Castor, C.W.; Walz, D.A.

    1986-01-01

    CTAP-III, an α-granule protein secreted by human platelets, is known to stimulate mitogenesis, extracellular matrix synthesis, and plasminogen activator synthesis in human fibroblast cultures. From its primary sequence, a synthetic gene was constructed to code for a methionine-free derivative (Leu substituted for Met-21), then cloned and expressed in E. coli using a new expression vector containing regulatory elements of the colicin E1 operon. Partially purified recombinant CTAP-III showed a line of identity with CTAP-III by immunodiffusion against rabbit antibody to platelet-derived CTAP-III. Immunodetection of the reduced protein after SDS-PAGE electrophoresis showed a molecular weight (mobility) in agreement with the natural form. Biologic activity of rCTAP-III eluted from an antiCTAP-III immunoaffinity column was measured in human synovial cell bioassay systems. rCTAP-III stimulated synovial cell synthesis of 14 C-hyaluronic acid approximately 13-fold; significant (P < 0.001) mitogenesis was also observed. These studies indicate that a sufficient quantity of bioactive peptide can be obtained for a more comprehensive study of its biologic properties

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Synthetic Biology: Putting Synthesis into Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jing; Luo, Yunzi; Zhao, Huimin

    2010-01-01

    The ability to manipulate living organisms is at the heart of a range of emerging technologies that serve to address important and current problems in environment, energy, and health. However, with all its complexity and interconnectivity, biology has for many years been recalcitrant to engineering manipulations. The recent advances in synthesis, analysis, and modeling methods have finally provided the tools necessary to manipulate living systems in meaningful ways, and have led to the coining of a field named synthetic biology. The scope of synthetic biology is as complicated as life itself – encompassing many branches of science, and across many scales of application. New DNA synthesis and assembly techniques have made routine the customization of very large DNA molecules. This in turn has allowed the incorporation of multiple genes and pathways. By coupling these with techniques that allow for the modeling and design of protein functions, scientists have now gained the tools to create completely novel biological machineries. Even the ultimate biological machinery – a self-replicating organism – is being pursued at this moment. It is the purpose of this review to dissect and organize these various components of synthetic biology into a coherent picture. PMID:21064036

  2. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-06

    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. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Reverse engineering of modified genes by Bayesian network analysis defines molecular determinants critical to the development of glioblastoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian W Kunkle

    Full Text Available 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Synthetic Brainbows

    KAUST Repository

    Wan, Y.; Otsuna, H.; Hansen, C.

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Use of wavelet-packet transforms to develop an engineering model for multifractal characterization of mutation dynamics in pathological and nonpathological gene sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, David Lee

    1999-12-01

    This study uses dynamical analysis to examine in a quantitative fashion the information coding mechanism in DNA sequences. This exceeds the simple dichotomy of either modeling the mechanism by comparing DNA sequence walks as Fractal Brownian Motion (fbm) processes. The 2-D mappings of the DNA sequences for this research are from Iterated Function System (IFS) (Also known as the ``Chaos Game Representation'' (CGR)) mappings of the DNA sequences. This technique converts a 1-D sequence into a 2-D representation that preserves subsequence structure and provides a visual representation. The second step of this analysis involves the application of Wavelet Packet Transforms, a recently developed technique from the field of signal processing. A multi-fractal model is built by using wavelet transforms to estimate the Hurst exponent, H. The Hurst exponent is a non-parametric measurement of the dynamism of a system. This procedure is used to evaluate gene- coding events in the DNA sequence of cystic fibrosis mutations. The H exponent is calculated for various mutation sites in this gene. The results of this study indicate the presence of anti-persistent, random walks and persistent ``sub-periods'' in the sequence. This indicates the hypothesis of a multi-fractal model of DNA information encoding warrants further consideration. This work examines the model's behavior in both pathological (mutations) and non-pathological (healthy) base pair sequences of the cystic fibrosis gene. These mutations both natural and synthetic were introduced by computer manipulation of the original base pair text files. The results show that disease severity and system ``information dynamics'' correlate. These results have implications for genetic engineering as well as in mathematical biology. They suggest that there is scope for more multi-fractal models to be developed.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Natural - synthetic - artificial!

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Peter E

    2010-01-01

    The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life.......The terms "natural," "synthetic" and "artificial" are discussed in relation to synthetic and artificial chromosomes and genomes, synthetic and artificial cells and artificial life....

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Production of Fatty Acid-Derived Valuable Chemicals in Synthetic Microbes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu, Ai-Qun; Pratomo Juwono, Nina Kurniasih; Leong, Susanna Su Jan; Chang, Matthew Wook

    2014-01-01

    Fatty acid derivatives, such as hydroxy fatty acids, fatty alcohols, fatty acid methyl/ethyl esters, and fatty alka(e)nes, have a wide range of industrial applications including plastics, lubricants, and fuels. Currently, these chemicals are obtained mainly through chemical synthesis, which is complex and costly, and their availability from natural biological sources is extremely limited. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms has provided a platform for effective production of these valuable biochemicals. Notably, synthetic biology-based metabolic engineering strategies have been extensively applied to refactor microorganisms for improved biochemical production. Here, we reviewed: (i) the current status of metabolic engineering of microbes that produce fatty acid-derived valuable chemicals, and (ii) the recent progress of synthetic biology approaches that assist metabolic engineering, such as mRNA secondary structure engineering, sensor-regulator system, regulatable expression system, ultrasensitive input/output control system, and computer science-based design of complex gene circuits. Furthermore, key challenges and strategies were discussed. Finally, we concluded that synthetic biology provides useful metabolic engineering strategies for economically viable production of fatty acid-derived valuable chemicals in engineered microbes.

  17. Production of Fatty Acid-Derived Valuable Chemicals in Synthetic Microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yu, Ai-Qun; Pratomo Juwono, Nina Kurniasih [Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore); Synthetic Biology Research Program, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore); Leong, Susanna Su Jan [Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore); Synthetic Biology Research Program, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore); Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore (Singapore); Chang, Matthew Wook, E-mail: bchcmw@nus.edu.sg [Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore); Synthetic Biology Research Program, National University of Singapore, Singapore (Singapore)

    2014-12-23

    Fatty acid derivatives, such as hydroxy fatty acids, fatty alcohols, fatty acid methyl/ethyl esters, and fatty alka(e)nes, have a wide range of industrial applications including plastics, lubricants, and fuels. Currently, these chemicals are obtained mainly through chemical synthesis, which is complex and costly, and their availability from natural biological sources is extremely limited. Metabolic engineering of microorganisms has provided a platform for effective production of these valuable biochemicals. Notably, synthetic biology-based metabolic engineering strategies have been extensively applied to refactor microorganisms for improved biochemical production. Here, we reviewed: (i) the current status of metabolic engineering of microbes that produce fatty acid-derived valuable chemicals, and (ii) the recent progress of synthetic biology approaches that assist metabolic engineering, such as mRNA secondary structure engineering, sensor-regulator system, regulatable expression system, ultrasensitive input/output control system, and computer science-based design of complex gene circuits. Furthermore, key challenges and strategies were discussed. Finally, we concluded that synthetic biology provides useful metabolic engineering strategies for economically viable production of fatty acid-derived valuable chemicals in engineered microbes.

  18. Approaches to chemical synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Stano, Pasquale; Anella, Fabrizio; Carrara, Paolo; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2012-07-16

    Synthetic biology is first represented in terms of two complementary aspects, the bio-engineering one, based on the genetic manipulation of extant microbial forms in order to obtain forms of life which do not exist in nature; and the chemical synthetic biology, an approach mostly based on chemical manipulation for the laboratory synthesis of biological structures that do not exist in nature. The paper is mostly devoted to shortly review chemical synthetic biology projects currently carried out in our laboratory. In particular, we describe: the minimal cell project, then the "Never Born Proteins" and lastly the Never Born RNAs. We describe and critically analyze the main results, emphasizing the possible relevance of chemical synthetic biology for the progress in basic science and biotechnology. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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

  20. A real-time control system of gene expression using ligand-bound nucleic acid aptamer for metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jing; Cui, Xun; Yang, Le; Zhang, Zhe; Lv, Liping; Wang, Haoyuan; Zhao, Zhenmin; Guan, Ningzi; Dong, Lichun; Chen, Rachel

    2017-07-01

    Artificial control of bio-functions through regulating gene expression is one of the most important and attractive technologies to build novel living systems that are useful in the areas of chemical synthesis, nanotechnology, pharmacology, cell biology. Here, we present a novel real-time control system of gene regulation that includes an enhancement element by introducing duplex DNA aptamers upstream promoter and a repression element by introducing a RNA aptamer upstream ribosome binding site. With the presence of ligands corresponding to the DNA aptamers, the expression of the target gene can be potentially enhanced at the transcriptional level by strengthening the recognition capability of RNAP to the recognition region and speeding up the separation efficiency of the unwinding region due to the induced DNA bubble around the thrombin-bound aptamers; while with the presence of RNA aptamer ligand, the gene expression can be repressed at the translational level by weakening the recognition capability of ribosome to RBS due to the shielding of RBS by the formed aptamer-ligand complex upstream RBS. The effectiveness and potential utility of the developed gene regulation system were demonstrated by regulating the expression of ecaA gene in the cell-free systems. The realistic metabolic engineering application of the system has also tested by regulating the expression of mgtC gene and thrombin cDNA in Escherichia coli JD1021 for controlling metabolic flux and improving thrombin production, verifying that the real-time control system of gene regulation is able to realize the dynamic regulation of gene expression with potential applications in bacterial physiology studies and metabolic engineering. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Genetically engineered cardiac pacemaker: Stem cells transfected with HCN2 gene and myocytes—A model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanani, S.; Pumir, A.; Krinsky, V.

    2008-01-01

    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 channels is low enough. At too high an expression level of I channels, oscillations cannot be induced, no matter how many pacemaker channels are expressed. (2) At low expression levels of I 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 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 ˜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 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Synthetic Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  11. Identification of viral genes associated with the interferon-inducing phenotype of a synthetic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Haiyan; Pattnaik, Asit K; Osorio, Fernando A; Vu, Hiep L X

    2016-12-01

    We recently generated a fully synthetic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strain (designated as PRRSV-CON), which confers unprecedented levels of heterologous protection. We report herein that the synthetic PRRSV-CON possesses a unique phenotype in that it induces type-I interferons (IFNs) instead of suppressing these cytokines as most of the naturally occurring PRRSV isolates do. Through gain- and loss- of-function studies, the IFN-inducing phenotype of PRRSV-CON was mapped to the 3.3kb genomic fragment encoding three viral nonstructural proteins: nsp1α, nsp1β and the N-terminal part of nsp2. Further studies indicated that a cooperation among these 3 proteins was required for effective induction of IFNs. Collectively, this study constitutes the first step toward understanding the mechanisms by which the synthetic PRRSV-CON confers heterologous protection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. Engineering new medicine: an interview with James Collins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, James

    2010-01-01

    At first glance, the commonality among synthetic gene networks, nerve cell response times and the emergence of antibiotic resistance is obscure. Yet, when speaking with James (Jim) Collins, the relationship becomes clear: all are applications-oriented problems, and all inspire unique approaches from this unusual engineer who is empowered by his freedom to fail.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A Canadian refiner's perspective of synthetic crudes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halford, T.L.; McIntosh, A.P.; Rasmussen

    1997-01-01

    Some of the factors affecting a refiner's choice of crude oil include refinery hardware, particularly gas oil crackers, products slate and product specifications, crude availability, relative crude price and crude quality. An overview of synthetic crude, the use of synthetic crude combined with other crudes and a comparison of synthetic crude with conventional crude oil was given. The two main users of synthetic crude are basically two groups of refiners, those large groups who use synthetic crude combined with other crudes, and a smaller group who run synthetic crude on specially designed units as a sole feed. The effects of changes in fuel legislation were reviewed. It was predicted that the changes will have a mixed impact on the value of synthetic crude, but low sulphur diesel regulations and gasoline sulphur regulations will make current synthetic crudes attractive. The big future change with a negative impact will be diesel cetane increases to reduce engine emissions. This will reduce synthetic crude attractiveness due to distillate yields and quality and high gas oil yields. Similarly, any legislation limiting aromatics in diesel fuel will also make synthetic crudes less attractive. Problems experienced by refiners with hardware dedicated to synthetic crude (salt, naphthenic acid, fouling, quality variations) were also reviewed. 3 tabs

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. [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.

  20. Pollen-mediated gene flow in flax (Linum usitatissimum L.): can genetically engineered and organic flax coexist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jhala, A J; Bhatt, H; Topinka, K; Hall, L M

    2011-04-01

    Coexistence allows growers and consumers the choice of producing or purchasing conventional or organic crops with known standards for adventitious presence of genetically engineered (GE) seed. Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is multipurpose oilseed crop in which product diversity and utility could be enhanced for industrial, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical markets through genetic engineering. If GE flax were released commercially, pollen-mediated gene flow will determine in part whether GE flax could coexist without compromising other markets. As a part of pre-commercialization risk assessment, we quantified pollen-mediated gene flow between two cultivars of flax. Field experiments were conducted at four locations during 2006 and 2007 in western Canada using a concentric donor (20 × 20 m) receptor (120 × 120 m) design. Gene flow was detected through the xenia effect of dominant alleles of high α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3(cisΔ9,12,15)) to the low ALA trait. Seeds were harvested from the pollen recipient plots up to a distance of 50 m in eight directions from the pollen donor. High ALA seeds were identified using a thiobarbituric acid test and served as a marker for gene flow. Binomial distribution and power analysis were used to predict the minimum number of seeds statistically required to detect the frequency of gene flow at specific α (confidence interval) and power (1-β) values. As a result of the low frequency of gene flow, approximately 4 million seeds were screened to derive accurate quantification. Frequency of gene flow was highest near the source: averaging 0.0185 at 0.1 m but declined rapidly with distance, 0.0013 and 0.00003 at 3 and 35 m, respectively. Gene flow was reduced to 50% (O₅₀) and 90% (O₉₀) between 0.85 to 2.64 m, and 5.68 to 17.56 m, respectively. No gene flow was detected at any site or year > 35 m distance from the pollen source, suggesting that frequency of gene flow was ≤ 0.00003 (P = 0.95). Although it is not possible to

  1. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology is a novel biological discipline at the interface between traditional biology, chemistry, and engineering sciences. Synthetic biology aims at the rational design of complex synthetic biological devices and systems with desired properties by combining compatible, modular biological parts in a systematic manner. While the first engineered systems were mainly proof-of-principle studies to demonstrate the power of the modular engineering approach of synthetic biology, subsequent systems focus on applications in the health, environmental, and energy sectors. This review describes recent approaches for biomedical applications that were developed along the synthetic biology design hierarchy, at the level of individual parts, of devices, and of complex multicellular systems. It describes how synthetic biological parts can be used for the synthesis of drug-delivery tools, how synthetic biological devices can facilitate the discovery of novel drugs, and how multicellular synthetic ecosystems can give insight into population dynamics of parasites and hosts. These examples demonstrate how this new discipline could contribute to novel solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

  2. 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

  3. Non-viral gene activated matrices for mesenchymal stem cells based tissue engineering of bone and cartilage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raisin, Sophie; Belamie, Emmanuel; Morille, Marie

    2016-10-01

    Recent regenerative medicine and tissue engineering strategies for bone and cartilage repair have led to fascinating progress of translation from basic research to clinical applications. In this context, the use of gene therapy is increasingly being considered as an important therapeutic modality and regenerative technique. Indeed, in the last 20 years, nucleic acids (plasmid DNA, interferent RNA) have emerged as credible alternative or complement to proteins, which exhibited major issues including short half-life, loss of bioactivity in pathologic environment leading to high dose requirement and therefore high production costs. The relevance of gene therapy strategies in combination with a scaffold, following a so-called "Gene-Activated Matrix (GAM)" approach, is to achieve a direct, local and sustained delivery of nucleic acids from a scaffold to ensure efficient and durable cell transfection. Among interesting cells sources, Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) are promising for a rational use in gene/cell therapy with more than 1700 clinical trials approved during the last decade. The aim of the present review article is to provide a comprehensive overview of recent and ongoing work in non-viral genetic engineering of MSC combined with scaffolds. More specifically, we will show how this inductive strategy can be applied to orient stem cells fate for bone and cartilage repair. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Spatial and temporal assessment of pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow from genetically engineered plum Prunus domestica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ralph Scorza

    Full Text Available Pollen flow from a 0.46 ha plot of genetically engineered (GE Prunus domestica located in West Virginia, USA was evaluated from 2000-2010. Sentinel plum trees were planted at distances ranging from 132 to 854 m from the center of the GE orchard. Plots of mixed plum varieties and seedlings were located at 384, 484 and 998 m from the GE plot. Bee hives (Apis mellifera were dispersed between the GE plum plot and the pollen flow monitoring sites. Pollen-mediated gene flow from out of the GE plum plot to non-GE plums under the study conditions was low, only occurring at all in 4 of 11 years and then in only 0.31% of the 12,116 seeds analyzed. When it occurred, gene flow, calculated as the number of GUS positive embryos/total embryos sampled, ranged from 0.215% at 132 m from the center of the GE plum plot (28 m from the nearest GE plum tree to 0.033-0.017% at longer distances (384-998 m. Based on the percentage of GUS positive seeds per individual sampled tree the range was 0.4% to 12%. Within the GE field plot, gene flow ranged from 4.9 to 39%. Gene flow was related to distance and environmental conditions. A single year sample from a sentinel plot 132 m from the center of the GE plot accounted for 65% of the total 11-year gene flow. Spatial modeling indicated that gene flow dramatically decreased at distances over 400 m from the GE plot. Air temperature and rainfall were, respectively, positively and negatively correlated with gene flow, reflecting the effects of weather conditions on insect pollinator activity. Seed-mediated gene flow was not detected. These results support the feasibility of coexistence of GE and non-GE plum orchards.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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).

  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. Analog synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarpeshkar, R

    2014-03-28

    We analyse the pros and cons of analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is significantly more efficient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell. Based on this analysis, we conclude that synthetic biology must use analog, collective analog, probabilistic and hybrid analog-digital computational approaches; otherwise, even relatively simple synthetic computations in cells such as addition will exceed energy and molecular-count budgets. We present schematics for efficiently representing analog DNA-protein computation in cells. Analog electronic flow in subthreshold transistors and analog molecular flux in chemical reactions obey Boltzmann exponential laws of thermodynamics and are described by astoundingly similar logarithmic electrochemical potentials. Therefore, cytomorphic circuits can help to map circuit designs between electronic and biochemical domains. We review recent work that uses positive-feedback linearization circuits to architect wide-dynamic-range logarithmic analog computation in Escherichia coli using three transcription factors, nearly two orders of magnitude more efficient in parts than prior digital implementations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. On the genesis of articular cartilage. Embryonic joint development and gene expression - implications for tissue engineering

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jenner, F

    2013-01-01

    Articular chondrocytes descend from a distinct cohort of progenitor cells located in the embryonic joint anlagen, termed interzones. Their unique lineage might explain some of the problems encountered using chondrocytes of different lineages for articular cartilage tissue engineering. While it is

  10. 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 ...

  11. Induction of angiogenesis in tissue-engineered scaffolds designed for bone repair: a combined gene therapy-cell transplantation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabbarzadeh, Ehsan; Starnes, Trevor; Khan, Yusuf M; Jiang, Tao; Wirtel, Anthony J; Deng, Meng; Lv, Qing; Nair, Lakshmi S; Doty, Steven B; Laurencin, Cato T

    2008-08-12

    One of the fundamental principles underlying tissue engineering approaches is that newly formed tissue must maintain sufficient vascularization to support its growth. Efforts to induce vascular growth into tissue-engineered scaffolds have recently been dedicated to developing novel strategies to deliver specific biological factors that direct the recruitment of endothelial cell (EC) progenitors and their differentiation. The challenge, however, lies in orchestration of the cells, appropriate biological factors, and optimal factor doses. This study reports an approach as a step forward to resolving this dilemma by combining an ex vivo gene transfer strategy and EC transplantation. The utility of this approach was evaluated by using 3D poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLAGA) sintered microsphere scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. Our goal was achieved by isolation and transfection of adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) with adenovirus encoding the cDNA of VEGF. We demonstrated that the combination of VEGF releasing ADSCs and ECs results in marked vascular growth within PLAGA scaffolds. We thereby delineate the potential of ADSCs to promote vascular growth into biomaterials.

  12. Induction of angiogenesis in tissue-engineered scaffolds designed for bone repair: A combined gene therapy–cell transplantation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabbarzadeh, Ehsan; Starnes, Trevor; Khan, Yusuf M.; Jiang, Tao; Wirtel, Anthony J.; Deng, Meng; Lv, Qing; Nair, Lakshmi S.; Doty, Steven B.; Laurencin, Cato T.

    2008-01-01

    One of the fundamental principles underlying tissue engineering approaches is that newly formed tissue must maintain sufficient vascularization to support its growth. Efforts to induce vascular growth into tissue-engineered scaffolds have recently been dedicated to developing novel strategies to deliver specific biological factors that direct the recruitment of endothelial cell (EC) progenitors and their differentiation. The challenge, however, lies in orchestration of the cells, appropriate biological factors, and optimal factor doses. This study reports an approach as a step forward to resolving this dilemma by combining an ex vivo gene transfer strategy and EC transplantation. The utility of this approach was evaluated by using 3D poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLAGA) sintered microsphere scaffolds for bone tissue engineering applications. Our goal was achieved by isolation and transfection of adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs) with adenovirus encoding the cDNA of VEGF. We demonstrated that the combination of VEGF releasing ADSCs and ECs results in marked vascular growth within PLAGA scaffolds. We thereby delineate the potential of ADSCs to promote vascular growth into biomaterials. PMID:18678895

  13. Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Fentanyl Hallucinogens Inhalants Heroin Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Over-the-Counter Medicines Prescription Medicines Steroids (Anabolic) Synthetic Cannabinoids (K2/Spice) Synthetic Cathinones (Bath Salts) Tobacco/ ...

  14. Enhanced contractile force generation by artificial skeletal muscle tissues using IGF-I gene-engineered myoblast cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Masanori; Ito, Akira; Kawabe, Yoshinori; Nagamori, Eiji; Kamihira, Masamichi

    2011-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate whether insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I gene delivery to myoblast cells promotes the contractile force generated by hydrogel-based tissue-engineered skeletal muscles in vitro. Two retroviral vectors allowing doxycycline (Dox)-inducible expression of the IGF-I gene were transduced into mouse myoblast C2C12 cells to evaluate the effects of IGF-I gene expression on these cells. IGF-I gene expression stimulated the proliferation of C2C12 cells, and a significant increase in the growth rate was observed for IGF-I-transduced C2C12 cells with Dox addition, designated C2C12/IGF (Dox+) cells. Quantitative morphometric analyses showed that the myotubes induced from C2C12/IGF (Dox+) cells had a larger area and a greater width than control myotubes induced from normal C2C12 cells. Artificial skeletal muscle tissues were prepared from the respective cells using hydrogels composed of type I collagen and Matrigel. Western blot analyses revealed that the C2C12/IGF (Dox+) tissue constructs showed activation of a skeletal muscle hypertrophy marker (Akt) and enhanced expression of muscle-specific markers (myogenin, myosin heavy chain and tropomyosin). Moreover, the creatine kinase activity was increased in the C2C12/IGF (Dox+) tissue constructs. The C2C12/IGF (Dox+) tissue constructs contracted in response to electrical pulses, and generated a significantly higher physical force than the control C2C12 tissue constructs. These findings indicate that IGF-I gene transfer has the potential to yield functional skeletal muscle substitutes that are capable of in vivo restoration of the load-bearing function of injured muscle or acting as in vitro electrically-controlled bio-actuators. Copyright © 2011 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Phage Therapy in the Era of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbu, E Magda; Cady, Kyle C; Hubby, Bolyn

    2016-10-03

    For more than a century, bacteriophage (or phage) research has enabled some of the most important discoveries in biological sciences and has equipped scientists with many of the molecular biology tools that have advanced our understanding of replication, maintenance, and expression of genetic material. Phages have also been recognized and exploited as natural antimicrobial agents and nanovectors for gene therapy, but their potential as therapeutics has not been fully exploited in Western medicine because of challenges such as narrow host range, bacterial resistance, and unique pharmacokinetics. However, increasing concern related to the emergence of bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics has heightened interest in phage therapy and the development of strategies to overcome hurdles associated with bacteriophage therapeutics. Recent progress in sequencing technologies, DNA manipulation, and synthetic biology allowed scientists to refactor the entire bacterial genome of Mycoplasma mycoides, thereby creating the first synthetic cell. These new strategies for engineering genomes may have the potential to accelerate the construction of designer phage genomes with superior therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss the use of phage as therapeutics, as well as how synthetic biology can create bacteriophage with desirable attributes. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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)

  18. Electroactive biodegradable polyurethane significantly enhanced Schwann cells myelin gene expression and neurotrophin secretion for peripheral nerve tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yaobin; Wang, Ling; Guo, Baolin; Shao, Yongpin; Ma, Peter X

    2016-05-01

    Myelination of Schwann cells (SCs) is critical for the success of peripheral nerve regeneration, and biomaterials that can promote SCs' neurotrophin secretion as scaffolds are beneficial for nerve repair. Here we present a biomaterials-approach, specifically, a highly tunable conductive biodegradable flexible polyurethane by polycondensation of poly(glycerol sebacate) and aniline pentamer, to significantly enhance SCs' myelin gene expression and neurotrophin secretion for peripheral nerve tissue engineering. SCs are cultured on these conductive polymer films, and the biocompatibility of these films and their ability to enhance myelin gene expressions and sustained neurotrophin secretion are successfully demonstrated. The mechanism of SCs' neurotrophin secretion on conductive films is demonstrated by investigating the relationship between intracellular Ca(2+) level and SCs' myelination. Furthermore, the neurite growth and elongation of PC12 cells are induced by adding the neurotrophin medium suspension produced from SCs-laden conductive films. These data suggest that these conductive degradable polyurethanes that enhance SCs' myelin gene expressions and sustained neurotrophin secretion perform great potential for nerve regeneration applications. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Survival and expression of acid resistance genes in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli acid adapted in pineapple juice and exposed to synthetic gastric fluid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aims: The aim of this research was to examine relative transcriptional expression of acid resistance (AR) genes, rpoS, gadA and adiA, in O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) serotypes after adaptation to pineapple juice (PJ) and subsequently to determine survival with e...

  4. 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...

  5. Engineering low-cadmium rice through stress-inducible expression of OXS3-family member genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Changhu; Guo, Weili; Cai, Xingzhe; Li, Ruyu; Ow, David W

    2018-04-21

    Cadmium (Cd) as a carcinogen poses a great threat to food security and public health through plant-derived foods such as rice, the staple for nearly half of the world's population. We have previously reported that overexpression of truncated gene fragments derived from the rice genes OsO3L2 and OsO3L3 could reduce Cd accumulation in transgenic rice. However, we did not test the full length genes due to prior work in Arabidopsis where overexpression of these genes caused seedling lethality. Here, we report on limiting the overexpression of OsO3L2 and OsO3L3 through the use of the stress- inducible promoter RD29B. However, despite generating 625 putative transformants, only 7 lines survived as T1 seedlings and only 1 line of each overexpressed OsO3L2 or OsO3L3-produced T2 progeny. The T2 homozygotes from these 2 lines showed the same effect of reducing accumulation of Cd in root and shoot as well as in T3 grain. As importantly, the concentrations of essential metals copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn) were unaffected. Analysis of the expression profile suggested that low Cd accumulation may be due to high expression of OsO3L2 and OsO3L3 in the root tip region. Cellular localization of OsO3L2 and OsO3L3 indicate that they are histone H2A interacting nuclear proteins in vascular cells and especially in the root tip region. It is possible that interaction with histone H2A modifies chromatin to regulate downstream gene expression. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Engineering of quorum-sensing systems for improved production of alkaline protease by Bacillus subtilis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tjalsma, H.; Koetje, E.J.; Kiewiet, R.; Kuipers, O.P.; Kolkman, M.J.M.; Laan, J.H. van der; Daskin, R.; Ferrari, E.; Bron, S.

    2004-01-01

    AIM: Engineering of Rap-Phr quorum-sensing systems of Bacillus subtilis and subsequent evaluation of the transcription of the aprE gene, encoding a major extracellular alkaline protease. METHODS AND RESULTS: Addition of synthetic Phr pentapeptides to the growth medium, or overproduction of pre-Phr

  7. Engineering of quorum-sensing systems for improved production of alkaline protease by Bacillus subtilis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tjalsma, H; Koetje, EJ; Kiewiet, R; Kuipers, OP; Kolkman, M; van der Laan, J; Daskin, R; Ferrari, E; Bron, S

    2004-01-01

    Aim: Engineering of Rap-Phr quorum-sensing systems of Bacillus subtilis and subsequent evaluation of the transcription of the aprE gene, encoding a major extracellular alkaline protease. Methods and Results: Addition of synthetic Phr pentapeptides to the growth medium, or overproduction of pre-Phr

  8. [Synthetic biology and rearrangements of microbial genetic material].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Quan-Feng; Wang, Qian; Qi, Qing-Sheng

    2011-10-01

    As an emerging discipline, synthetic biology has shown great scientific values and application prospects. Although there have been many reviews of various aspects on synthetic biology over the last years, this article, for the first time, attempted to discuss the relationship and difference between microbial genetics and synthetic biology. We summarized the recent development of synthetic biology in rearranging microbial genetic materials, including synthesis, design and reduction of genetic materials, standardization of genetic parts and modularization of genetic circuits. The relationship between synthetic biology and microbial genetic engineering was also discussed in the paper.

  9. Direct activation of human and mouse Oct4 genes using engineered TALE and Cas9 transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jiabiao; Lei, Yong; Wong, Wing-Ki; Liu, Senquan; Lee, Kai-Chuen; He, Xiangjun; You, Wenxing; Zhou, Rui; Guo, Jun-Tao; Chen, Xiongfong; Peng, Xianlu; Sun, Hao; Huang, He; Zhao, Hui; Feng, Bo

    2014-04-01

    The newly developed transcription activator-like effector protein (TALE) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 transcription factors (TF) offered a powerful and precise approach for modulating gene expression. In this article, we systematically investigated the potential of these new tools in activating the stringently silenced pluripotency gene Oct4 (Pou5f1) in mouse and human somatic cells. First, with a number of TALEs and sgRNAs targeting various regions in the mouse and human Oct4 promoters, we found that the most efficient TALE-VP64s bound around -120 to -80 bp, while highly effective sgRNAs targeted from -147 to -89-bp upstream of the transcription start sites to induce high activity of luciferase reporters. In addition, we observed significant transcriptional synergy when multiple TFs were applied simultaneously. Although individual TFs exhibited marginal activity to up-regulate endogenous gene expression, optimized combinations of TALE-VP64s could enhance endogenous Oct4 transcription up to 30-fold in mouse NIH3T3 cells and 20-fold in human HEK293T cells. More importantly, the enhancement of OCT4 transcription ultimately generated OCT4 proteins. Furthermore, examination of different epigenetic modifiers showed that histone acetyltransferase p300 could enhance both TALE-VP64 and sgRNA/dCas9-VP64 induced transcription of endogenous OCT4. Taken together, our study suggested that engineered TALE-TF and dCas9-TF are useful tools for modulating gene expression in mammalian cells.

  10. 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

  11. Engineering allostery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raman, Srivatsan; Taylor, Noah; Genuth, Naomi; Fields, Stanley; Church, George M

    2014-12-01

    Allosteric proteins have great potential in synthetic biology, but our limited understanding of the molecular underpinnings of allostery has hindered the development of designer molecules, including transcription factors with new DNA-binding or ligand-binding specificities that respond appropriately to inducers. Such allosteric proteins could function as novel switches in complex circuits, metabolite sensors, or as orthogonal regulators for independent, inducible control of multiple genes. Advances in DNA synthesis and next-generation sequencing technologies have enabled the assessment of millions of mutants in a single experiment, providing new opportunities to study allostery. Using the classic LacI protein as an example, we describe a genetic selection system using a bidirectional reporter to capture mutants in both allosteric states, allowing the positions most crucial for allostery to be identified. This approach is not limited to bacterial transcription factors, and could reveal new mechanistic insights and facilitate engineering of other major classes of allosteric proteins such as nuclear receptors, two-component systems, G protein-coupled receptors, and protein kinases. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Synthetic biology as it relates to CAM photosynthesis: challenges and opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DePaoli, Henrique C; Borland, Anne M; Tuskan, Gerald A; Cushman, John C; Yang, Xiaohan

    2014-07-01

    To meet future food and energy security needs, which are amplified by increasing population growth and reduced natural resource availability, metabolic engineering efforts have moved from manipulating single genes/proteins to introducing multiple genes and novel pathways to improve photosynthetic efficiency in a more comprehensive manner. Biochemical carbon-concentrating mechanisms such as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), which improves photosynthetic, water-use, and possibly nutrient-use efficiency, represent a strategic target for synthetic biology to engineer more productive C3 crops for a warmer and drier world. One key challenge for introducing multigene traits like CAM onto a background of C3 photosynthesis is to gain a better understanding of the dynamic spatial and temporal regulatory events that underpin photosynthetic metabolism. With the aid of systems and computational biology, vast amounts of experimental data encompassing transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics can be related in a network to create dynamic models. Such models can undergo simulations to discover key regulatory elements in metabolism and suggest strategic substitution or augmentation by synthetic components to improve photosynthetic performance and water-use efficiency in C3 crops. Another key challenge in the application of synthetic biology to photosynthesis research is to develop efficient systems for multigene assembly and stacking. Here, we review recent progress in computational modelling as applied to plant photosynthesis, with attention to the requirements for CAM, and recent advances in synthetic biology tool development. Lastly, we discuss possible options for multigene pathway construction in plants with an emphasis on CAM-into-C3 engineering. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Control of gene expression by CRISPR-Cas systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) loci and their associated cas (CRISPR-associated) genes provide adaptive immunity against viruses (phages) and other mobile genetic elements in bacteria and archaea. While most of the early work has largely been dominated by examples of CRISPR-Cas systems directing the cleavage of phage or plasmid DNA, recent studies have revealed a more complex landscape where CRISPR-Cas loci might be involved in gene regulation. In this review, we summarize the role of these loci in the regulation of gene expression as well as the recent development of synthetic gene regulation using engineered CRISPR-Cas systems. PMID:24273648

  16. Exometabolomics Assisted Design and Validation of Synthetic Obligate Mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosina, Suzanne M; Danielewicz, Megan A; Mohammed, Mujahid; Ray, Jayashree; Suh, Yumi; Yilmaz, Suzan; Singh, Anup K; Arkin, Adam P; Deutschbauer, Adam M; Northen, Trent R

    2016-07-15

    Synthetic microbial ecology has the potential to enhance the productivity and resiliency of biotechnology processes compared to approaches using single isolates. Engineering microbial consortia is challenging; however, one approach that has attracted significant attention is the creation of synthetic obligate mutualism using auxotrophic mutants that depend on each other for exchange or cross-feeding of metabolites. Here, we describe the integration of mutant library fitness profiling with mass spectrometry based exometabolomics as a method for constructing synthetic mutualism based on cross-feeding. Two industrially important species lacking known ecological interactions, Zymomonas mobilis and Escherichia coli, were selected as the test species. Amino acid exometabolites identified in the spent medium of Z. mobilis were used to select three corresponding E. coli auxotrophs (proA, pheA and IlvA), as potential E. coli counterparts for the coculture. A pooled mutant fitness assay with a Z. mobilis transposon mutant library was used to identify mutants with improved growth in the presence of E. coli. An auxotroph mutant in a gene (ZMO0748) with sequence similarity to cysteine synthase A (cysK), was selected as the Z. mobilis counterpart for the coculture. Exometabolomic analysis of spent E. coli medium identified glutathione related metabolites as potentially available for rescue of the Z. mobilis cysteine synthase mutant. Three sets of cocultures between the Z. mobilis auxotroph and each of the three E. coli auxotrophs were monitored by optical density for growth and analyzed by flow cytometry to confirm high cell counts for each species. Taken together, our methods provide a technological framework for creating synthetic mutualisms combining existing screening based methods and exometabolomics for both the selection of obligate mutualism partners and elucidation of metabolites involved in auxotroph rescue.

  17. 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

    Increasing the flux through central carbon metabolism is difficult because of rigidity in regulatory structures, at both the genetic and the enzymatic levels. Here we describe metabolic engineering of a regulatory network to obtain a balanced increase in the activity of all the enzymes in the pat...... 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....... 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...

  18. ARACNe-AP: gene network reverse engineering through adaptive partitioning inference of mutual information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachmann, Alexander; Giorgi, Federico M; Lopez, Gonzalo; Califano, Andrea

    2016-07-15

    The accurate reconstruction of gene regulatory networks from large scale molecular profile datasets represents one of the grand challenges of Systems Biology. The Algorithm for the Reconstruction of Accurate Cellular Networks (ARACNe) represents one of the most effective tools to accomplish this goal. However, the initial Fixed Bandwidth (FB) implementation is both inefficient and unable to deal with sample sets providing largely uneven coverage of the probability density space. Here, we present a completely new implementation of the algorithm, based on an Adaptive Partitioning strategy (AP) for estimating the Mutual Information. The new AP implementation (ARACNe-AP) achieves a dramatic improvement in computational performance (200× on average) over the previous methodology, while preserving the Mutual Information estimator and the Network inference accuracy of the original algorithm. Given that the previous version of ARACNe is extremely demanding, the new version of the algorithm will allow even researchers with modest computational resources to build complex regulatory networks from hundreds of gene expression profiles. A JAVA cross-platform command line executable of ARACNe, together with all source code and a detailed usage guide are freely available on Sourceforge (http://sourceforge.net/projects/aracne-ap). JAVA version 8 or higher is required. califano@c2b2.columbia.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  19. MiMIC: a highly versatile transposon insertion resource for engineering Drosophila melanogaster genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venken, Koen J. T.; Schulze, Karen L.; Haelterman, Nele A.; Pan, Hongling; He, Yuchun; Evans-Holm, Martha; Carlson, Joseph W.; Levis, Robert W.; Spradling, Allan C.; Hoskins, Roger A.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate the versatility of a collection of insertions of the transposon Minos mediated integration cassette (MiMIC), in Drosophila melanogaster. MiMIC contains a gene-trap cassette and the yellow+ marker flanked by two inverted bacteriophage ΦC31 attP sites. MiMIC integrates almost at random in the genome to create sites for DNA manipulation. The attP sites allow the replacement of the intervening sequence of the transposon with any other sequence through recombinase mediated cassette exchange (RMCE). We can revert insertions that function as gene traps and cause mutant phenotypes to wild type by RMCE and modify insertions to control GAL4 or QF overexpression systems or perform lineage analysis using the Flp system. Insertions within coding introns can be exchanged with protein-tag cassettes to create fusion proteins to follow protein expression and perform biochemical experiments. The applications of MiMIC vastly extend the Drosophila melanogaster toolkit. PMID:21985007

  20. Philosophy of Systems and Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara

    2017-01-01

    This entry aims to clarify how systems and synthetic biology contribute to and extend discussions within philosophy of science. Unlike fields such as developmental biology or molecular biology, systems and synthetic biology are not easily demarcated by a focus on a specific subject area or level...... of organization. Rather, they are characterized by the development and application of mathematical, computational, and synthetic modeling strategies in response to complex problems and challenges within the life sciences. Proponents of systems and synthetic biology often stress the necessity of a perspective...... that goes beyond the scope of molecular biology and genetic engineering, respectively. With the emphasis on systems and interaction networks, the approaches explicitly engage in one of the oldest philosophical discussions on the relationship between parts and wholes, or between reductionism and holism...

  1. Engineering an efficient and tight D-amino acid-inducible gene expression system in Rhodosporidium/Rhodotorula species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanbin; Koh, Chong Mei John; Ngoh, Si Te; Ji, Lianghui

    2015-10-26

    mutant makes an efficient and tight D-amino acid-inducible gene expression system in Rhodosporidium and Rhodotorula genera. The system will be a valuable tool for metabolic engineering and enzyme expression in these yeast hosts.

  2. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  3. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    OpenAIRE

    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 tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems.

  4. Evaluation of synthetic promoters in Physcomitrella patens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peramuna, Anantha; Bae, Hansol; Rasmussen, Erling Koch

    2018-01-01

    Securing a molecular toolbox including diverse promoters is essential for genome engineering. However, native promoters have limitations such as the available number or the length of the promoter. In this work, three short synthetic promoters were characterized by using the yellow fluorescent...

  5. 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 tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems. PMID:25744872

  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. 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...... 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...

  8. [From synthetic biology to synthetic humankind].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouvel, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an historical survey of the expression "synthetic biology" in order to identify its main philosophical components. The result of the analysis is then used to investigate the meaning of the notion of "synthetic man". It is shown that both notions share a common philosophical background that can be summed up by the short but meaningful assertion: "biology is technology". The analysis allows us to distinguish two notions that are often confused in transhumanist literature: the notion of synthetic man and the notion of renewed man. The consequences of this crucial distinction are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Library of synthetic transcriptional AND gates built with split T7 RNA polymerase mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shis, David L; Bennett, Matthew R

    2013-03-26

    The construction of synthetic gene circuits relies on our ability to engineer regulatory architectures that are orthogonal to the host's native regulatory pathways. However, as synthetic gene circuits become larger and more complicated, we are limited by the small number of parts, especially transcription factors, that work well in the context of the circuit. The current repertoire of transcription factors consists of a limited selection of activators and repressors, making the implementation of transcriptional logic a complicated and component-intensive process. To address this, we modified bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase (T7 RNAP) to create a library of transcriptional AND gates for use in Escherichia coli by first splitting the protein and then mutating the DNA recognition domain of the C-terminal fragment to alter its promoter specificity. We first demonstrate that split T7 RNAP is active in vivo and compare it with full-length enzyme. We then create a library of mutant split T7 RNAPs that have a range of activities when used in combination with a complimentary set of altered T7-specific promoters. Finally, we assay the two-input function of both wild-type and mutant split T7 RNAPs and find that regulated expression of the N- and C-terminal fragments of the split T7 RNAPs creates AND logic in each case. This work demonstrates that mutant split T7 RNAP can be used as a transcriptional AND gate and introduces a unique library of components for use in synthetic gene circuits.

  11. Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakeri, Bijan; Lu, Timothy K.

    2012-01-01

    Antibiotic discovery has a storied history. From the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming to the relentless quest for antibiotics by Selman Waksman, the stories have become like folklore, used to inspire future generations of scientists. However, recent discovery pipelines have run dry at a time when multidrug resistant pathogens are on the rise. Nature has proven to be a valuable reservoir of antimicrobial agents, which are primarily produced by modularized biochemical pathways. Such modularization is well suited to remodeling by an interdisciplinary approach that spans science and engineering. Herein, we discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and provide an overview of the growing applicability of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery. PMID:23654251

  12. Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakeri, Bijan; Lu, Timothy K

    2013-07-19

    Antibiotic discovery has a storied history. From the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming to the relentless quest for antibiotics by Selman Waksman, the stories have become like folklore used to inspire future generations of scientists. However, recent discovery pipelines have run dry at a time when multidrug-resistant pathogens are on the rise. Nature has proven to be a valuable reservoir of antimicrobial agents, which are primarily produced by modularized biochemical pathways. Such modularization is well suited to remodeling by an interdisciplinary approach that spans science and engineering. Herein, we discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and provide an overview of the growing applicability of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery.

  13. Engineer Synthetic Tumor Recruited Immunocellular Therapy (STRICT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-01

    miRNAs are indicated: basal UG motif, 35 bp double stranded stem structure, CNNC motif in the 3’ flanking region, apical UGU/GUG motif in terminal...U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5012 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT: Approved for Public Release...NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S) U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Fort Detrick, Maryland 21702-5012 11

  14. 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)

  15. Gene

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Gene integrates information from a wide range of species. A record may include nomenclature, Reference Sequences (RefSeqs), maps, pathways, variations, phenotypes,...

  16. In Genes We Trust: Germline Engineering, Eugenics, and the Future of the Human Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Russell

    2015-12-01

    Liberal proponents of genetic engineering maintain that developing human germline modification technologies is morally desirable because it will result in a net improvement in human health and well-being. Skeptics of germline modification, in contrast, fear evolutionary harms that could flow from intervening in the human germline, and worry that such programs, even if well intentioned, could lead to a recapitulation of the scientifically and morally discredited projects of the old eugenics. Some bioconservatives have appealed as well to the value of retaining our "given" human biological nature as a reason for restraining the development and use of human genetic modification technologies even where they would tend to increase well-being. In this article, I argue that germline intervention will be necessary merely to sustain the levels of genetic health that we presently enjoy for future generations-a goal that should appeal to bioliberals and bioconservatives alike. This is due to the population-genetic consequences of relaxed selection pressures in human populations caused by the increasing efficacy and availability of conventional medicine. This heterodox conclusion, which I present as a problem of intergenerational justice, has been overlooked in medicine and bioethics due to certain misconceptions about human evolution, which I attempt to rectify, as well as the sordid history of Darwinian approaches to medicine and social policy, which I distinguish from the present argument. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy Inc. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Expression of a Synthetic Gene for the Major Cytotoxin (Cyt1Aa of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis in the Chloroplast of Wild-Type Chlamydomonas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seongjoon Kang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (Chlamydomonas strains that are toxic to mosquito larvae because they express chloroplast transgenes that are based on the mosquitocidal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti could be very useful in mosquito control. Chlamydomonas has several advantages for this approach, including genetic controls not generally available with industrial algae. The Bti toxin is produced by sporulating bacteria and has been used for mosquito control for >30 years without creating highly resistant mosquito populations. The suite of toxins is four main proteins: three Cry proteins and the cytotoxic Cyt1Aa (27 kDa. Cyt1Aa is not very toxic to mosquitoes by itself, but it prevents the development of resistance. The production of Cyt1Aa in other microbes, however, has been challenging due to its affinity for certain membrane phospholipids. Here we report on the production of recombinant Cyt1Aa (rCyt1A in the chloroplast of photosynthetic Chlamydomonas at levels of at least 0.3% total protein. Live cell bioassays demonstrated toxicity of the rCyt1Aa Chlamydomonas to larvae of Aedes aegypti. We also expressed the chloroplast cyt1Aa gene in a wild-type Chlamydomonas strain (21 gr that can grow on nitrate. These results have implications for developing a Chlamydomonas strain that will be toxic to mosquito larvae but will not induce strongly resistant populations.

  18. Reverse engineering model structures for soil and ecosystem respiration: the potential of gene expression programming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Ilie

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Accurate model representation of land–atmosphere carbon fluxes is essential for climate projections. However, the exact responses of carbon cycle processes to climatic drivers often remain uncertain. Presently, knowledge derived from experiments, complemented by a steadily evolving body of mechanistic theory, provides the main basis for developing such models. The strongly increasing availability of measurements may facilitate new ways of identifying suitable model structures using machine learning. Here, we explore the potential of gene expression programming (GEP to derive relevant model formulations based solely on the signals present in data by automatically applying various mathematical transformations to potential predictors and repeatedly evolving the resulting model structures. In contrast to most other machine learning regression techniques, the GEP approach generates readable models that allow for prediction and possibly for interpretation. Our study is based on two cases: artificially generated data and real observations. Simulations based on artificial data show that GEP is successful in identifying prescribed functions, with the prediction capacity of the models comparable to four state-of-the-art machine learning methods (random forests, support vector machines, artificial neural networks, and kernel ridge regressions. Based on real observations we explore the responses of the different components of terrestrial respiration at an oak forest in south-eastern England. We find that the GEP-retrieved models are often better in prediction than some established respiration models. Based on their structures, we find previously unconsidered exponential dependencies of respiration on seasonal ecosystem carbon assimilation and water dynamics. We noticed that the GEP models are only partly portable across respiration components, the identification of a general terrestrial respiration model possibly prevented by equifinality issues. Overall

  19. Reverse engineering model structures for soil and ecosystem respiration: the potential of gene expression programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilie, Iulia; Dittrich, Peter; Carvalhais, Nuno; Jung, Martin; Heinemeyer, Andreas; Migliavacca, Mirco; Morison, James I. L.; Sippel, Sebastian; Subke, Jens-Arne; Wilkinson, Matthew; Mahecha, Miguel D.

    2017-09-01

    Accurate model representation of land-atmosphere carbon fluxes is essential for climate projections. However, the exact responses of carbon cycle processes to climatic drivers often remain uncertain. Presently, knowledge derived from experiments, complemented by a steadily evolving body of mechanistic theory, provides the main basis for developing such models. The strongly increasing availability of measurements may facilitate new ways of identifying suitable model structures using machine learning. Here, we explore the potential of gene expression programming (GEP) to derive relevant model formulations based solely on the signals present in data by automatically applying various mathematical transformations to potential predictors and repeatedly evolving the resulting model structures. In contrast to most other machine learning regression techniques, the GEP approach generates readable models that allow for prediction and possibly for interpretation. Our study is based on two cases: artificially generated data and real observations. Simulations based on artificial data show that GEP is successful in identifying prescribed functions, with the prediction capacity of the models comparable to four state-of-the-art machine learning methods (random forests, support vector machines, artificial neural networks, and kernel ridge regressions). Based on real observations we explore the responses of the different components of terrestrial respiration at an oak forest in south-eastern England. We find that the GEP-retrieved models are often better in prediction than some established respiration models. Based on their structures, we find previously unconsidered exponential dependencies of respiration on seasonal ecosystem carbon assimilation and water dynamics. We noticed that the GEP models are only partly portable across respiration components, the identification of a general terrestrial respiration model possibly prevented by equifinality issues. Overall, GEP is a promising

  20. Enhanced iron and zinc accumulation in genetically engineered pineapple plants using soybean ferritin gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhatre, Minal; Srinivas, Lingam; Ganapathi, Thumballi R

    2011-12-01

    Pineapple (Ananas comosus L. Merr., cv. "Queen") leaf bases were transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA 105 harboring the pSF and pEFESF plasmids with soybean ferritin cDNA. Four to eight percent of the co-cultivated leaf bases produced multiple shoots 6 weeks after transfer to Murashige and Skoog's medium supplemented with α-naphthalene acetic acid 1.8 mg/l, indole-3-butyric acid 2.0 mg/l, kinetin 2.0 mg/l, cefotaxime 400 mg/l, and kanamycin 50 mg/l. Putatively transformed shoots (1-2 cm) were selected and multiplied on medium of the same composition and elongated shoots (5 cm) were rooted on liquid rooting medium supplemented with cefotaxime 400 mg/l and kanamycin 100 mg/l. The rooted plants were analyzed through PCR, genomic Southern analysis, and reverse transcription PCR. The results clearly confirmed the integration and expression of soybean ferritin gene in the transformed plants. Atomic absorption spectroscopic analysis carried out with six independently transformed lines of pSF and pEFE-SF revealed a maximum of 5.03-fold increase in iron and 2.44-fold increase in zinc accumulation in the leaves of pSF-transformed plants. In pEFE-SF-transformed plants, a 3.65-fold increase in iron and 2.05-fold increase in zinc levels was observed. Few of the transgenic plants were hardened in the greenhouse and are being grown to maturity to determine the enhanced iron and zinc accumulation in the fruits. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report on the transformation of pineapple with soybean ferritin for enhanced accumulation of iron and zinc content in the transgenic plants.

  1. Biomimetic fetal rotation bioreactor for engineering bone tissues-Effect of cyclic strains on upregulation of osteogenic gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravichandran, Akhilandeshwari; Wen, Feng; Lim, Jing; Chong, Mark Seow Khoon; Chan, Jerry K Y; Teoh, Swee-Hin

    2018-04-01

    Cells respond to physiological mechanical stresses especially during early fetal development. Adopting a biomimetic approach, it is necessary to develop bioreactor systems to explore the effects of physiologically relevant mechanical strains and shear stresses for functional tissue growth and development. This study introduces a multimodal bioreactor system that allows application of cyclic compressive strains on premature bone grafts that are cultured under biaxial rotation (chamber rotation about 2 axes) conditions for bone tissue engineering. The bioreactor is integrated with sensors for dissolved oxygen levels and pH that allow real-time, non-invasive monitoring of the culture parameters. Mesenchymal stem cells-seeded polycaprolactone-β-tricalcium phosphate scaffolds were cultured in this bioreactor over 2 weeks in 4 different modes-static, cyclic compression, biaxial rotation, and multimodal (combination of cyclic compression and biaxial rotation). The multimodal culture resulted in 1.8-fold higher cellular proliferation in comparison with the static controls within the first week. Two weeks of culture in the multimodal bioreactor utilizing the combined effects of optimal fluid flow conditions and cyclic compression led to the upregulation of osteogenic genes alkaline phosphatase (3.2-fold), osteonectin (2.4-fold), osteocalcin (10-fold), and collagen type 1 α1 (2-fold) in comparison with static cultures. We report for the first time, the independent and combined effects of mechanical stimulation and biaxial rotation for bone tissue engineering using a bioreactor platform with non-invasive sensing modalities. The demonstrated results show leaning towards the futuristic vision of using a physiologically relevant bioreactor system for generation of autologous bone grafts for clinical implantation. Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  2. A Synthetic-Biology-Inspired Therapeutic Strategy for Targeting and Treating Hepatogenous Diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Shuai; Yin, Jianli; Shao, Jiawei; Yu, Yuanhuan; Yang, Linfeng; Wang, Yidan; Xie, Mingqi; Fussenegger, Martin; Ye, Haifeng

    2017-02-01

    Hepatogenous diabetes is a complex disease that is typified by the simultaneous presence of type 2 diabetes and many forms of liver disease. The chief pathogenic determinant in this pathophysiological network is insulin resistance (IR), an asymptomatic disease state in which impaired insulin signaling in target tissues initiates a variety of organ dysfunctions. However, pharmacotherapies targeting IR remain limited and are generally inapplicable for liver disease patients. Oleanolic acid (OA) is a plant-derived triterpenoid that is frequently used in Chinese medicine as a safe but slow-acting treatment in many liver disorders. Here, we utilized the congruent pharmacological activities of OA and glucagon-like-peptide 1 (GLP-1) in relieving IR and improving liver and pancreas functions and used a synthetic-biology-inspired design principle to engineer a therapeutic gene circuit that enables a concerted action of both drugs. In particular, OA-triggered short human GLP-1 (shGLP-1) expression in hepatogenous diabetic mice rapidly and simultaneously attenuated many disease-specific metabolic failures, whereas OA or shGLP-1 monotherapy failed to achieve corresponding therapeutic effects. Collectively, this work shows that rationally engineered synthetic gene circuits are capable of treating multifactorial diseases in a synergistic manner by multiplexing the targeting efficacies of single therapeutics. Copyright © 2017 The American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Crystallographic and mutational analyses of cystathionine β-synthase in the H2 S-synthetic gene cluster in Lactobacillus plantarum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matoba, Yasuyuki; Yoshida, Tomoki; Izuhara-Kihara, Hisae; Noda, Masafumi; Sugiyama, Masanori

    2017-04-01

    Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) catalyzes the formation of l-cystathionine from l-serine and l-homocysteine. The resulting l-cystathionine is decomposed into l-cysteine, ammonia, and α-ketobutylic acid by cystathionine γ-lyase (CGL). This reverse transsulfuration pathway, which is catalyzed by both enzymes, mainly occurs in eukaryotic cells. The eukaryotic CBS and CGL have recently been recognized as major physiological enzymes for the generation of hydrogen sulfide (H 2 S). In some bacteria, including the plant-derived lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum, the CBS- and CGL-encoding genes form a cluster in their genomes. Inactivation of these enzymes has been reported to suppress H 2 S production in bacteria; interestingly, it has been shown that H 2 S suppression increases their susceptibility to various antibiotics. In the present study, we characterized the enzymatic properties of the L. plantarum CBS, whose amino acid sequence displays a similarity with those of O-acetyl-l-serine sulfhydrylase (OASS) that catalyzes the generation of l-cysteine from O-acetyl-l-serine (l-OAS) and H 2 S. The L. plantarum CBS shows l-OAS- and l-cysteine-dependent CBS activities together with OASS activity. Especially, it catalyzes the formation of H 2 S in the presence of l-cysteine and l-homocysteine, together with the formation of l-cystathionine. The high affinity toward l-cysteine as a first substrate and tendency to use l-homocysteine as a second substrate might be associated with its enzymatic ability to generate H 2 S. Crystallographic and mutational analyses of CBS indicate that the Ala70 and Glu223 residues at the substrate binding pocket are important for the H 2 S-generating activity. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  4. 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.

  5. WISB: Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, John

    2016-06-15

    Synthetic biology promises to create high-impact solutions to challenges in the areas of biotechnology, human/animal health, the environment, energy, materials and food security. Equally, synthetic biologists create tools and strategies that have the potential to help us answer important fundamental questions in biology. Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology (WISB) pursues both of these mutually complementary 'build to apply' and 'build to understand' approaches. This is reflected in our research structure, in which a core theme on predictive biosystems engineering develops underpinning understanding as well as next-generation experimental/theoretical tools, and these are then incorporated into three applied themes in which we engineer biosynthetic pathways, microbial communities and microbial effector systems in plants. WISB takes a comprehensive approach to training, education and outreach. For example, WISB is a partner in the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded U.K. Doctoral Training Centre in synthetic biology, we have developed a new undergraduate module in the subject, and we have established five WISB Research Career Development Fellowships to support young group leaders. Research in Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA) of synthetic biology is embedded in our centre activities. WISB has been highly proactive in building an international research and training network that includes partners in Barcelona, Boston, Copenhagen, Madrid, Marburg, São Paulo, Tartu and Valencia. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Preparing Synthetic Biology for the World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd H.G. Moe-Behrens

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or living devices. As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety.

  7. Reduce manual curation by combining gene predictions from multiple annotation engines, a case study of start codon prediction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas H A Ederveen

    Full Text Available Nowadays, prokaryotic genomes are sequenced faster than the capacity to manually curate gene annotations. Automated genome annotation engines provide users a straight-forward and complete solution for predicting ORF coordinates and function. For many labs, the use of AGEs is therefore essential to decrease the time necessary for annotating a given prokaryotic genome. However, it is not uncommon for AGEs to provide different and sometimes conflicting predictions. Combining multiple AGEs might allow for more accurate predictions. Here we analyzed the ab initio open reading frame (ORF calling performance of different AGEs based on curated genome annotations of eight strains from different bacterial species with GC% ranging from 35-52%. We present a case study which demonstrates a novel way of comparative genome annotation, using combinations of AGEs in a pre-defined order (or path to predict ORF start codons. The order of AGE combinations is from high to low specificity, where the specificity is based on the eight genome annotations. For each AGE combination we are able to derive a so-called projected confidence value, which is the average specificity of ORF start codon prediction based on the eight genomes. The projected confidence enables estimating likeliness of a correct prediction for a particular ORF start codon by a particular AGE combination, pinpointing ORFs notoriously difficult to predict start codons. We correctly predict start codons for 90.5±4.8% of the genes in a genome (based on the eight genomes with an accuracy of 81.1±7.6%. Our consensus-path methodology allows a marked improvement over majority voting (9.7±4.4% and with an optimal path ORF start prediction sensitivity is gained while maintaining a high specificity.

  8. Synthetic Biology and the Translational Imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari Feidt, Raheleh; Ienca, Marcello; Elger, Bernice Simone; Folcher, Marc

    2017-12-18

    Advances at the interface between the biological sciences and engineering are giving rise to emerging research fields such as synthetic biology. Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology requires timely and adequate translation into clinical practice. However, the translational research enterprise is currently facing fundamental obstacles that slow down the transition of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient bedside. These obstacles including scarce financial resources and deficiency of organizational and logistic settings are widely discussed as primary impediments to translational research. In addition, a number of socio-ethical considerations inherent in translational research need to be addressed. As the translational capacity of synthetic biology is tightly linked to its social acceptance and ethical approval, ethical limitations may-together with financial and organizational problems-be co-determinants of suboptimal translation. Therefore, an early assessment of such limitations will contribute to proactively favor successful translation and prevent the promising potential of synthetic biology from remaining under-expressed. Through the discussion of two case-specific inventions in synthetic biology and their associated ethical implications, we illustrate the socio-ethical challenges ahead in the process of implementing synthetic biology into clinical practice. Since reducing the translational lag is essential for delivering the benefits of basic biomedical research to society at large and promoting global health, we advocate a moral obligation to accelerating translational research: the "translational imperative."

  9. Synthetic multicellular oscillatory systems: controlling protein dynamics with genetic circuits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koseska, Aneta; Volkov, Evgenii; Kurths, Juergen

    2011-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new research discipline that combines standard biology approaches with the constructive nature of engineering. Thus, recent efforts in the field of synthetic biology have given a perspective to consider cells as 'programmable matter'. Here, we address the possibility of using synthetic circuits to control protein dynamics. In particular, we show how intercellular communication and stochasticity can be used to manipulate the dynamical behavior of a population of coupled synthetic units and, in this manner, finely tune the expression of specific proteins of interest, e.g. in large bioreactors.

  10. An Evaluation of Active Learning Causal Discovery Methods for Reverse-Engineering Local Causal Pathways of Gene Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Sisi; Kemmeren, Patrick; Aliferis, Constantin F.; Statnikov, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of causal pathways that implicate diseases and vital cellular functions is a fundamental problem in biomedicine. Discovery of the local causal pathway of a target variable (that consists of its direct causes and direct effects) is essential for effective intervention and can facilitate accurate diagnosis and prognosis. Recent research has provided several active learning methods that can leverage passively observed high-throughput data to draft causal pathways and then refine the inferred relations with a limited number of experiments. The current study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the performance of active learning methods for local causal pathway discovery in real biological data. Specifically, 54 active learning methods/variants from 3 families of algorithms were applied for local causal pathways reconstruction of gene regulation for 5 transcription factors in S. cerevisiae. Four aspects of the methods’ performance were assessed, including adjacency discovery quality, edge orientation accuracy, complete pathway discovery quality, and experimental cost. The results of this study show that some methods provide significant performance benefits over others and therefore should be routinely used for local causal pathway discovery tasks. This study also demonstrates the feasibility of local causal pathway reconstruction in real biological systems with significant quality and low experimental cost. PMID:26939894

  11. Chromatin regulation at the frontier of synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keung, Albert J.; Joung, J. Keith; Khalil, Ahmad S.; Collins, James J.

    2016-01-01

    As synthetic biology approaches are extended to diverse applications throughout medicine, biotechnology and basic biological research, there is an increasing need to engineer yeast, plant and mammalian cells. Eukaryotic genomes are regulated by the diverse biochemical and biophysical states of chromatin, which brings distinct challenges, as well as opportunities, over applications in bacteria. Recent synthetic approaches, including `epigenome editing', have allowed the direct and functional dissection of many aspects of physiological chromatin regulation. These studies lay the foundation for biomedical and biotechnological engineering applications that could take advantage of the unique combinatorial and spatiotemporal layers of chromatin regulation to create synthetic systems of unprecedented sophistication. PMID:25668787

  12. Development of an anhydrotetracycline-inducible gene expression system for solvent-producing Clostridium acetobutylicum: A useful tool for strain engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hongjun; Tao, Wenwen; Zhang, Yanping; Li, Yin

    2012-01-01

    Clostridium acetobutylicum is an important solvent (acetone-butanol-ethanol) producing bacterium. However, a stringent, effective, and convenient-to-use inducible gene expression system that can be used for regulating the gene expression strength in C. acetobutylicum is currently not available. Here, we report an anhydrotetracycline-inducible gene expression system for solvent-producing bacterium C. acetobutylicum. This system consists of a functional chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene promoter containing tet operators (tetO), Pthl promoter (thiolase gene promoter from C. acetobutylicum) controlling TetR repressor expression cassette, and the chemical inducer anhydrotetracycline (aTc). The optimized system, designated as pGusA2-2tetO1, allows gene regulation in an inducer aTc concentration-dependent way, with an inducibility of over two orders of magnitude. The stringency of TetR repression supports the introduction of the genes encoding counterselective marker into C. acetobutylicum, which can be used to increase the mutant screening efficiency. This aTc-inducible gene expression system will thus increase the genetic manipulation capability for engineering C. acetobutylicum. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Fiscal 2000 pioneering research report on the basic technology for novel DNA drug creation using anti-gene engineering; 2000 nendo anti gene kogaku ni yoru shinki DNA drug soshutsu kiban gijutsu chosa kenkyu hokokusho

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-03-01

    Research is conducted concerning the possibility of anti-gene engineering basic to the application of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) drugs capable of serving as functional DNAs to the control of the expression of industrially useful substance producing genes or of anomalous genes and concerning the possibility of novel industry creation on the strength of the said engineering. The specific research items are described below. Technical seeds are investigated relating to the tissue- and cell-specific drug delivery system for the expression of the molecular device function of the DNA drug. Concerning molecular target technologies such as the anti-sense method, possibilities are studied of utilizing the currently available technical seeds for the eventual creation of novel industries. Concerning novel designing methods utilizing genome information such as SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms), investigations are conducted to determine if they would help novel technology development and novel material development. The domestic state is surveyed in relation to DNA drugs, and possibilities are investigated of novel substance production and novel medicine creation with the aid of anti-gene engineering. (NEDO)

  14. Exploring Host-Microbiome Interactions using an in Silico Model of Biomimetic Robots and Engineered Living Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Keith C. Heyde; Warren C. Ruder

    2015-01-01

    The microbiome?s underlying dynamics play an important role in regulating the behavior and health of its host. In order to explore the details of these interactions, we created an in silico model of a living microbiome, engineered with synthetic biology, that interfaces with a biomimetic, robotic host. By analytically modeling and computationally simulating engineered gene networks in these commensal communities, we reproduced complex behaviors in the host. We observed that robot movements de...

  15. Towards the Development of Synthetic Antibiotics: Designs Inspired by Natural Antimicrobial Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmi, Fazren; Skwarczynski, Mariusz; Toth, Istvan

    2016-01-01

    Virtually every living organism produces gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that provide an immediate defence against pathogen invasion. Many AMPs have been isolated and used as antibiotics that are effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Although encouraging, AMPs have such poor drug-like properties that their application for clinical use is restricted. In turn, this has diverted research to the development of synthetic molecules that retain the therapeutic efficacy of AMPs but are endowed with greater biological stability and safety profiles. Most of the synthetic molecules, either based on a peptidic or non-peptidic scaffold, have been designed to mimic the amphiphilic properties of native AMPs, which are widely believed to be the key determinant of their antibacterial activity. In this review, the structural, chemical and biophysical features that govern the biological activities of various synthetic designs are discussed extensively. Recent innovative approaches from the literature that exhibit novel concepts towards the development of new synthetic antibacterial agents, including the engineered delivery platform incorporated with AMP mimetics, are also emphasised.

  16. Libraries of Synthetic TALE-Activated Promoters: Methods and Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, T; Tissier, A

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of proteins with programmable DNA-binding specificities triggered a whole array of applications in synthetic biology, including genome editing, regulation of transcription, and epigenetic modifications. Among those, transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) due to their natural function as transcription regulators, are especially well-suited for the development of orthogonal systems for the control of gene expression. We describe here the construction and testing of libraries of synthetic TALE-activated promoters which are under the control of a single TALE with a given DNA-binding specificity. These libraries consist of a fixed DNA-binding element for the TALE, a TATA box, and variable sequences of 19 bases upstream and 43 bases downstream of the DNA-binding element. These libraries were cloned using a Golden Gate cloning strategy making them usable as standard parts in a modular cloning system. The broad range of promoter activities detected and the versatility of these promoter libraries make them valuable tools for applications in the fine-tuning of expression in metabolic engineering projects or in the design and implementation of regulatory circuits. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Search Engine for Antimicrobial Resistance: A Cloud Compatible Pipeline and Web Interface for Rapidly Detecting Antimicrobial Resistance Genes Directly from Sequence Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Will; Baker, Kate S; Verner-Jeffreys, David; Baker-Austin, Craig; Ryan, Jim J; Maskell, Duncan; Pearce, Gareth

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial resistance remains a growing and significant concern in human and veterinary medicine. Current laboratory methods for the detection and surveillance of antimicrobial resistant bacteria are limited in their effectiveness and scope. With the rapidly developing field of whole genome sequencing beginning to be utilised in clinical practice, the ability to interrogate sequencing data quickly and easily for the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes will become increasingly important and useful for informing clinical decisions. Additionally, use of such tools will provide insight into the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance genes in metagenomic samples such as those used in environmental monitoring. Here we present the Search Engine for Antimicrobial Resistance (SEAR), a pipeline and web interface for detection of horizontally acquired antimicrobial resistance genes in raw sequencing data. The pipeline provides gene information, abundance estimation and the reconstructed sequence of antimicrobial resistance genes; it also provides web links to additional information on each gene. The pipeline utilises clustering and read mapping to annotate full-length genes relative to a user-defined database. It also uses local alignment of annotated genes to a range of online databases to provide additional information. We demonstrate SEAR's application in the detection and abundance estimation of antimicrobial resistance genes in two novel environmental metagenomes, 32 human faecal microbiome datasets and 126 clinical isolates of Shigella sonnei. We have developed a pipeline that contributes to the improved capacity for antimicrobial resistance detection afforded by next generation sequencing technologies, allowing for rapid detection of antimicrobial resistance genes directly from sequencing data. SEAR uses raw sequencing data via an intuitive interface so can be run rapidly without requiring advanced bioinformatic skills or resources. Finally, we show that SEAR

  18. Properties of alternative microbial hosts used in synthetic biology: towards the design of a modular chassis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Juhyun; Salvador, Manuel; Saunders, Elizabeth; González, Jaime; Avignone-Rossa, Claudio

    2016-01-01

    The chassis is the cellular host used as a recipient of engineered biological systems in synthetic biology. They are required to propagate the genetic information and to express the genes encoded in it. Despite being an essential element for the appropriate function of genetic circuits, the chassis is rarely considered in their design phase. Consequently, the circuits are transferred to model organisms commonly used in the laboratory, such as Escherichia coli, that may be suboptimal for a required function. In this review, we discuss some of the properties desirable in a versatile chassis and summarize some examples of alternative hosts for synthetic biology amenable for engineering. These properties include a suitable life style, a robust cell wall, good knowledge of its regulatory network as well as of the interplay of the host components with the exogenous circuits, and the possibility of developing whole-cell models and tuneable metabolic fluxes that could allow a better distribution of cellular resources (metabolites, ATP, nucleotides, amino acids, transcriptional and translational machinery). We highlight Pseudomonas putida, widely used in many different biotechnological applications as a prominent organism for synthetic biology due to its metabolic diversity, robustness and ease of manipulation. PMID:27903818

  19. Technical Assessment: Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Pfizer, Bausch & Lomb, Coca - Cola , and other Fortune 500 companies 8 Data estimated by the... financial prize for ideas to drive forward the production of a sensor relying on synthetic organisms that can detect exposure to 500 specific chemicals

  20. CRISPR Perturbation of Gene Expression Alters Bacterial Fitness under Stress and Reveals Underlying Epistatic Constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otoupal, Peter B; Erickson, Keesha E; Escalas-Bordoy, Antoni; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2017-01-20

    The evolution of antibiotic resistance has engendered an impending global health crisis that necessitates a greater understanding of how resistance emerges. The impact of nongenetic factors and how they influence the evolution of resistance is a largely unexplored area of research. Here we present a novel application of CRISPR-Cas9 technology for investigating how gene expression governs the adaptive pathways available to bacteria during the evolution of resistance. We examine the impact of gene expression changes on bacterial adaptation by constructing a library of deactivated CRISPR-Cas9 synthetic devices to tune the expression of a set of stress-response genes in Escherichia coli. We show that artificially inducing perturbations in gene expression imparts significant synthetic control over fitness and growth during stress exposure. We present evidence that these impacts are reversible; strains with synthetically perturbed gene expression regained wild-type growth phenotypes upon stress removal, while maintaining divergent growth characteristics under stress. Furthermore, we demonstrate a prevailing trend toward negative epistatic interactions when multiple gene perturbations are combined simultaneously, thereby posing an intrinsic constraint on gene expression underlying adaptive trajectories. Together, these results emphasize how CRISPR-Cas9 can be employed to engineer gene expression changes that shape bacterial adaptation, and present a novel approach to synthetically control the evolution of antimicrobial resistance.

  1. Developments in the Tools and Methodologies of Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelwick, Richard; MacDonald, James T.; Webb, Alexander J.; Freemont, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices, or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable, and are therefore, intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a “body of knowledge” from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled, and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled, and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle, an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review, we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community. PMID:25505788

  2. Developments in the tools and methodologies of synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eKelwick

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable and are therefore intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a ‘body of knowledge’ from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community.

  3. Engineering synergy in biotechnology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens; Fussenegger, Martin; Keasling, Jay

    2014-01-01

    In this article, the author focuses on approaches in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for the creation of efficient cell factories, which can be bused to convert biomass and other feedstocks for the generation of chemicals. Topics discussed include development of restriction enzymes......, engineering plasmids and recyclable markers, production of 1,3-propanediol using a metabolically engineered Escherichia coli and production of isobutanol by using metabolically engineered yeast....

  4. The emerging age of cell-free synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Mark Thomas; Wilding, Kristen M; Hunt, Jeremy M; Bennett, Anthony M; Bundy, Bradley C

    2014-08-25

    The engineering of and mastery over biological parts has catalyzed the emergence of synthetic biology. This field has grown exponentially in the past decade. As increasingly more applications of synthetic biology are pursued, more challenges are encountered, such as delivering genetic material into cells and optimizing genetic circuits in vivo. An in vitro or cell-free approach to synthetic biology simplifies and avoids many of the pitfalls of in vivo synthetic biology. In this review, we describe some of the innate features that make cell-free systems compelling platforms for synthetic biology and discuss emerging improvements of cell-free technologies. We also select and highlight recent and emerging applications of cell-free synthetic biology. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Characterization of a genetically engineered mouse model of hemophilia A with complete deletion of the F8 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, B N; Baldwin, W H; Healey, J F; Parker, E T; Shafer-Weaver, K; Cox, C; Jiang, P; Kanellopoulou, C; Lollar, P; Meeks, S L; Lenardo, M J

    2016-02-01

    ESSENTIALS: Anti-factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitory antibody formation is a severe complication in hemophilia A therapy. We genetically engineered and characterized a mouse model with complete deletion of the F8 coding region. F8(TKO) mice exhibit severe hemophilia, express no detectable F8 mRNA, and produce FVIII inhibitors. The defined background and lack of FVIII in F8(TKO) mice will aid in studying FVIII inhibitor formation. The most important complication in hemophilia A treatment is the development of inhibitory anti-Factor VIII (FVIII) antibodies in patients after FVIII therapy. Patients with severe hemophilia who express no endogenous FVIII (i.e. cross-reacting material, CRM) have the greatest incidence of inhibitor formation. However, current mouse models of severe hemophilia A produce low levels of truncated FVIII. The lack of a corresponding mouse model hampers the study of inhibitor formation in the complete absence of FVIII protein. We aimed to generate and characterize a novel mouse model of severe hemophilia A (designated the F8(TKO) strain) lacking the complete coding sequence of F8 and any FVIII CRM. Mice were created on a C57BL/6 background using Cre-Lox recombination and characterized using in vivo bleeding assays, measurement of FVIII activity by coagulation and chromogenic assays, and anti-FVIII antibody production using ELISA. All F8 exonic coding regions were deleted from the genome and no F8 mRNA was detected in F8(TKO) mice. The bleeding phenotype of F8(TKO) mice was comparable to E16 mice by measurements of factor activity and tail snip assay. Similar levels of anti-FVIII antibody titers after recombinant FVIII injections were observed between F8(TKO) and E16 mice. We describe a new C57BL/6 mouse model for severe hemophilia A patients lacking CRM. These mice can be directly bred to the many C57BL/6 strains of genetically engineered mice, which is valuable for studying the impact of a wide variety of genes on FVIII inhibitor formation on a

  6. Mammalian synthetic biology for studying the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Melina; Xiang, Joy S; Smolke, Christina D

    2017-01-02

    Synthetic biology is advancing the design of genetic devices that enable the study of cellular and molecular biology in mammalian cells. These genetic devices use diverse regulatory mechanisms to both examine cellular processes and achieve precise and dynamic control of cellular phenotype. Synthetic biology tools provide novel functionality to complement the examination of natural cell systems, including engineered molecules with specific activities and model systems that mimic complex regulatory processes. Continued development of quantitative standards and computational tools will expand capacities to probe cellular mechanisms with genetic devices to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the cell. In this study, we review synthetic biology tools that are being applied to effectively investigate diverse cellular processes, regulatory networks, and multicellular interactions. We also discuss current challenges and future developments in the field that may transform the types of investigation possible in cell biology. © 2017 Mathur et al.

  7. CSBB: synthetic biology research at Newcastle University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goñi-Moreno, Angel; Wipat, Anil; Krasnogor, Natalio

    2017-06-15

    The Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy (CSBB) brings together