Feedback control is ubiquitous in biological systems. It can also play a crucial role in the design of synthetic circuits implementing novel functions in living systems, to achieve self-regulation of gene expression, noise reduction, rise time decrease, or adaptive pathway control. Despite in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo implementations have been successfully reported, the design of biological close-loop systems with quantitatively predictable behavior is still a major challenge. In this work, we tested a model-based bottom-up design of a synthetic close-loop controller in engineered Escherichia coli, aimed to automatically regulate the concentration of an extracellular molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (HSL), by rewiring the elements of heterologous quorum sensing/quenching networks. The synthetic controller was successfully constructed and experimentally validated. Relying on mathematical model and experimental characterization of individual regulatory parts and enzymes, we evaluated the predictability of the interconnected system behavior in vivo. The culture was able to reach an HSL steady-state level of 72 nM, accurately predicted by the model, and showed superior capabilities in terms of robustness against cell density variation and disturbance rejection, compared with a corresponding open-loop circuit. This engineering-inspired design approach may be adopted for the implementation of other close-loop circuits for different applications and contribute to decreasing trial-and-error steps.

A Synthetic Close-Loop Controller Circuit for the Regulation of an Extracellular Molecule by Engineered Bacteria

Bellato M.;Magni P.
2019

Abstract

Feedback control is ubiquitous in biological systems. It can also play a crucial role in the design of synthetic circuits implementing novel functions in living systems, to achieve self-regulation of gene expression, noise reduction, rise time decrease, or adaptive pathway control. Despite in vitro, in vivo, and ex vivo implementations have been successfully reported, the design of biological close-loop systems with quantitatively predictable behavior is still a major challenge. In this work, we tested a model-based bottom-up design of a synthetic close-loop controller in engineered Escherichia coli, aimed to automatically regulate the concentration of an extracellular molecule, N-(3-oxohexanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone (HSL), by rewiring the elements of heterologous quorum sensing/quenching networks. The synthetic controller was successfully constructed and experimentally validated. Relying on mathematical model and experimental characterization of individual regulatory parts and enzymes, we evaluated the predictability of the interconnected system behavior in vivo. The culture was able to reach an HSL steady-state level of 72 nM, accurately predicted by the model, and showed superior capabilities in terms of robustness against cell density variation and disturbance rejection, compared with a corresponding open-loop circuit. This engineering-inspired design approach may be adopted for the implementation of other close-loop circuits for different applications and contribute to decreasing trial-and-error steps.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3377772
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