Review Article | Published:

Reconstruction of genetic circuits

Nature volume 438, pages 443448 (24 November 2005) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The complex genetic circuits found in cells are ordinarily studied by analysis of genetic and biochemical perturbations. The inherent modularity of biological components like genes and proteins enables a complementary approach: one can construct and analyse synthetic genetic circuits based on their natural counterparts. Such synthetic circuits can be used as simple in vivo models to explore the relation between the structure and function of a genetic circuit. Here we describe recent progress in this area of synthetic biology, highlighting newly developed genetic components and biological lessons learned from this approach.

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Acknowledgements

Synthetic biology work in the laboratory is supported by a Burroughs-Wellcome CASI award, The HFSP program and the Searle Scholars program. D.S. would like to acknowledge the support of the Yad Hanadiv Foundation and the CBCD at Caltech. We would like to thank J. W. Chin, C. Guet, S. Leibler, J. Liao, W. Lim, C. Smolke and R. Weiss for contributing figures. We are grateful to R. Kishony, E. Sprinzak, C. Dalal, G. Suel and members of the laboratory for discussions and comments.

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Affiliations

  1. California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology and Department of Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California 91125, USA

    • David Sprinzak
    •  & Michael B. Elowitz

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Reprints and permissions information is available at npg.nature.com/reprintsandpermissions. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michael B. Elowitz.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature04335

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