3 years ago

A real-time control system of gene expression using ligand-bound nucleic acid aptamer for metabolic engineering

Artificial control of bio-functions through regulating gene expression is one of the most important and attractive technologies to build novel living systems that are useful in the areas of chemical synthesis, nanotechnology, pharmacology, cell biology. Here, we present a novel real-time control system of gene regulation that includes an enhancement element by introducing duplex DNA aptamers upstream promoter and a repression element by introducing a RNA aptamer upstream ribosome binding site. With the presence of ligands corresponding to the DNA aptamers, the expression of the target gene can be potentially enhanced at the transcriptional level by strengthening the recognition capability of RNAP to the recognition region and speeding up the separation efficiency of the unwinding region due to the induced DNA bubble around the thrombin-bound aptamers; while with the presence of RNA aptamer ligand, the gene expression can be repressed at the translational level by weakening the recognition capability of ribosome to RBS due to the shielding of RBS by the formed aptamer-ligand complex upstream RBS. The effectiveness and potential utility of the developed gene regulation system were demonstrated by regulating the expression of ecaA gene in the cell-free systems. The realistic metabolic engineering application of the system has also tested by regulating the expression of mgtC gene and thrombin cDNA in Escherichia coli JD1021 for controlling metabolic flux and improving thrombin production, verifying that the real-time control system of gene regulation is able to realize the dynamic regulation of gene expression with potential applications in bacterial physiology studies and metabolic engineering.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1096717617300162

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