This invention enables better control of large genetic circuits in synthetic biology.
There are only a few well characterized transcription factors with which to program genetic circuits in synthetic biology. This invention is a novel system which can be used to "wire-together" components of genetic circuits, enabling independent control of each component.
ECF sigmas (extracytoplasmic function) are similar to transcription factors, and enable directed expression of target genes by recognizing specific promoters. Anti-sigmas are proteins that bind to specific ECF sigmas and serve to block their ability to direct transcription from target promoters. This reaction is highly specific due to high-binding constants. The inventors have assembled a library of ECF sigmas and anti-sigmas, which, in conjunction with promoters, can dramatically expand the ability to design and construct large genetic circuits. The ability to both positively and negatively regulate specific parts of a circuit enables independent control of target modules and provides the ability to integrate multiple input signals to generate desired output. These novel genetic circuits are an effective mechanism to regulate gene expression.
Positive and negative circuit regulation