Tag Archives: operator

Highlights of the International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School 2014

sicily_etnaLast week I joined the International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School in Taormina, Italy and as the title describes it was all about Synthetic and Systems biology with some pretty cool speakers.  Weiss talked about the general principles of genetic circuits and the current limitations (record is currently 12 different synthetic promoters in 1 designed network). Sarpeshkar focused on the stochastic nature and the associated noise of cells, he showed how they can be simulated or mirrored using analog circuits. Paul Freemont took Ron Weiss’ design principles and showed how to apply them on different examples, he also elaborated on an efficient way of characterizing new circuits and parts. Tanja Kortemme, a former postdoc from the Baker lab, gave an introduction to the capabilities of computational protein design and using some neat examples showed the power (and limitations) of computational design. Below some highlights and the relevant links of the literature that was discussed.

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On promoters and operators, which combination is the best?

DNA helix artistPromoters and (their often forgotten partner-in-crime) operators are two key elements in the transcription of a protein sequence. A promoter sequence recruits the RNA polymerase and the status of the operator determines whether or not the adjunctive protein sequence gets translated (Figure 1). So far, biochemistry 101. Far more interesting is the diversity in promoter/operator complexes currently employed in the biotech industry and their associated efficiency rates. Not a lot of quantitative and  real comparable research had been done on this topic, until March 2013…

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