Gene networks that compensate for crosstalk with crosstalk
Author(s)Müller, Isaak E.; Rubens, Jacob R.; Jun, Tomi; Xavier, Ramnik; Lu, Timothy K.
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Crosstalk is a major challenge to engineering sophisticated synthetic gene networks. A common approach is to insulate signal-transduction pathways by minimizing molecular-level crosstalk between endogenous and synthetic genetic components, but this strategy can be difficult to apply in the context of complex, natural gene networks and unknown interactions. Here, we show that synthetic gene networks can be engineered to compensate for crosstalk by integrating pathway signals, rather than by pathway insulation. We demonstrate this principle using reactive oxygen species (ROS)-responsive gene circuits in Escherichia coli that exhibit concentration-dependent crosstalk with non-cognate ROS. We quantitatively map the degree of crosstalk and design gene circuits that introduce compensatory crosstalk at the gene network level. The resulting gene network exhibits reduced crosstalk in the sensing of the two different ROS. Our results suggest that simple network motifs that compensate for pathway crosstalk can be used by biological networks to accurately interpret environmental signals.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Microbiology Graduate Program
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Müller, Isaak E. et al. "Gene networks that compensate for crosstalk with crosstalk." Nature communications 10 (2019): 1038 © 2019 The Author(s)
Final published version
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Physics and Astronomy, General Chemistry