Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 11, pp 1215–1220 | Cite as

The design of intracellular oscillators that interact with metabolism

Visions & Reflections


Biological oscillations such as circadian rhythms are ubiquitous in nature and have attracted significant attention because of their intriguing dynamics and important biological roles. Understanding of such sophisticated and robust oscillators requires more than the traditional reductionist approach. Recently, a synthetic approach similar to the design of engineering machinery has provided a valuable alternative for testing hypothetical operating principles. These man-made genetic circuits and gene-metabolic circuits are designed based on physical concepts, guided by mathematical models, and constrained by biological and chemical reality. While still primitive compared with the natural circuits, the designed gene-metabolic oscillator has begun to show hallmarks of circadian rhythms such as temperature compensation and close interaction with metabolism.


Intracellular oscillator metabolism design principles 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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