Design and implementation of three incoherent feed-forward motif based biological concentration sensors
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Synthetic biology is a useful tool to investigate the dynamics of small biological networks and to assess our capacity to predict their behavior from computational models. In this work we report the construction of three different synthetic networks in Escherichia coli based upon the incoherent feed-forward loop architecture. The steady state behavior of the networks was investigated experimentally and computationally under different mutational regimes in a population based assay. Our data shows that the three incoherent feed-forward networks, using three different macromolecular inhibitory elements, reproduce the behavior predicted from our computational model. We also demonstrate that specific biological motifs can be designed to generate similar behavior using different components. In addition we show how it is possible to tune the behavior of the networks in a predicable manner by applying suitable mutations to the inhibitory elements.
KeywordsFeed-forward networks Modules Simulation Synthetic biology
Green fluorescent protein
Open reading frame
Polymerase chain reaction
Ribosome binding site
T7 RNA polymerase T7-RNAP
Systems biology workbench
This work was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation (Id 0432190). The GFP was kindly donated by Drew Endy form the Biobricks repository. We would also like to acknowledge useful discussions with Vijay Chickarmane.
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