Electronic control of gene expression and cell behaviour in Escherichia coli through redox signalling.

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TitleElectronic control of gene expression and cell behaviour in Escherichia coli through redox signalling.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsTschirhart, T, Kim, E, Mckay, R, Ueda, H, Wu, H-C, Pottash, AEli, Zargar, A, Negrete, A, Shiloach, J, Payne, GF, Bentley, WE
JournalNat Commun
Volume8
Pagination14030
Date Published2017 Jan 17
ISSN2041-1723
Abstract

The ability to interconvert information between electronic and ionic modalities has transformed our ability to record and actuate biological function. Synthetic biology offers the potential to expand communication 'bandwidth' by using biomolecules and providing electrochemical access to redox-based cell signals and behaviours. While engineered cells have transmitted molecular information to electronic devices, the potential for bidirectional communication stands largely untapped. Here we present a simple electrogenetic device that uses redox biomolecules to carry electronic information to engineered bacterial cells in order to control transcription from a simple synthetic gene circuit. Electronic actuation of the native transcriptional regulator SoxR and transcription from the PsoxS promoter allows cell response that is quick, reversible and dependent on the amplitude and frequency of the imposed electronic signals. Further, induction of bacterial motility and population based cell-to-cell communication demonstrates the versatility of our approach and potential to drive intricate biological behaviours.

DOI10.1038/ncomms14030
Alternate JournalNat Commun
PubMed ID28094788