Article: article from journal or magazin.
Regulatable and modulable background expression control in prokaryotic synthetic circuits by auxiliary repressor binding sites.
ACS Synthetic Biology
Expression control in synthetic genetic circuitry, for example, for construction of sensitive biosensors, is hampered by the lack of DNA parts that maintain ultralow background yet achieve high output upon signal integration by the cells. Here, we demonstrate how placement of auxiliary transcription factor binding sites within a regulatable promoter context can yield an important gain in signal-to-noise output ratios from prokaryotic biosensor circuits. As a proof of principle, we use the arsenite-responsive ArsR repressor protein from Escherichia coli and its cognate operator. Additional ArsR operators placed downstream of its target promoter can act as a transcription roadblock in a distance-dependent manner and reduce background expression of downstream-placed reporter genes. We show that the transcription roadblock functions both in cognate and heterologous promoter contexts. Secondary ArsR operators placed upstream of their promoter can also improve signal-to-noise output while maintaining effector dependency. Importantly, background control can be released through the addition of micromolar concentrations of arsenite. The ArsR-operator system thus provides a flexible system for additional gene expression control, which, given the extreme sensitivity to micrograms per liter effector concentrations, could be applicable in more general contexts.
bacterial bioreporters, synthetic biology, ArsR, arsenic, repressor protein, operator
Web of science
Last modification date