Synthetic biology: Engineering Escherichia coli to see light

  title={Synthetic biology: Engineering Escherichia coli to see light},
  author={Anselm Levskaya and Aaron Chevalier and Jeffrey J. Tabor and Zachary Booth Simpson and Laura A Lavery and Matthew Levy and Eric A. Davidson and Alexander D. Scouras and Andrew D. Ellington and Edward M. Marcotte and Christopher A. Voigt},
We have designed a bacterial system that is switched between different states by red light. The system consists of a synthetic sensor kinase that allows a lawn of bacteria to function as a biological film, such that the projection of a pattern of light on to the bacteria produces a high-definition (about 100 megapixels per square inch), two-dimensional chemical image. This spatial control of bacterial gene expression could be used to ‘print’ complex biological materials, for example, and to… 

Synthetic Biological Approaches for Optogenetics and Tools for Transcriptional Light-Control in Bacteria.

The focus of this review shifts to transcriptional light regulators, which are presented in the biotechnologically highly relevant model organism Escherichia coli.

Reconstruction of a chromatic response system in Escherichia coli.

The photoperception system in Escherichia coli is reconstructed to make an easily controllable ON/OFF switch for gene expressions and it is succeeded to endow E. coli with a gene activation switch that is regulated in a light-color dependent manner.

The Bacterial Nanorecorder: Engineering E. coli to Function as a Chemical Recording Device

This work demonstrates that facile modification of an existing genetic toggle switch can be exploited to generate a robust, biologically-based “nanorecorder” that could potentially be adapted to detect, respond and record a wide range of chemical stimuli that may vary over time and space.

Programming Bacteria With Light—Sensors and Applications in Synthetic Biology

This work reviews programming bacteria cells with light, introducing engineered light sensors in bacteria and their applications, including tuning synthetic circuits and achieving feedback controls over microbial cell culture.

Engineering bacterial signals and sensors.

This chapter describes several strategies for engineering new bacterial sensor systems and synthetic gene networks that are capable of sensing a desired stimulus and generating interesting dynamical or pattern-forming responses.

Spatiotemporal Control of Cell Signalling Using A Light-Switchable Protein Interaction

It is shown that light-gated translocation of the upstream activators of Rho-family GTPases, which control the actin cytoskeleton, can be used to precisely reshape and direct the cell morphology of mammalian cells.

Lights on and action! Controlling microbial gene expression by light

This mini review describes recently developed strategies to generate photo-sensitive expression systems in bacteria and yeast that allow for an independent photocontrol of various microbial processes in a noninvasive and spatiotemporal fashion.



A light-switchable gene promoter system

A promoter system that can be induced, rapidly and reversibly, by short pulses of light that has the potential to provide rapid, noninvasive, switchable control of the expression of a desired gene to a preselected level in any suitable cell by simple exposure to a light signal.

A cyanobacterial phytochrome two-component light sensory system.

The biliprotein phytochrome regulates plant growth and developmental responses to the ambient light environment through an unknown mechanism and is an ancient molecule that evolved from a more compact light sensor in cyanobacteria.

Genetic engineering of phytochrome biosynthesis in bacteria

  • G. GambettaJ. Lagarias
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2001
Using a dual plasmid system, the feasibility of producing photoactive phytochromes in any heme-containing cell is established and the means to regulate gene expression by light in nonplant cells are considered.

Rotational On-off Switching of a Hybrid Membrane Sensor Kinase Tar-ArcB in Escherichia coli *

The results suggest that, in contrast to the piston-like displacement that operates in Tar, the catalytic activity of ArcB is set by altering the orientation of the cytosolic domain of one monomer relative to the other in the homodimer.

Bacteriophytochromes: phytochrome-like photoreceptors from nonphotosynthetic eubacteria.

Sequence homology and mutational analysis suggest that D. radiodurans bacteriophytochrome functions as a light-regulated histidine kinase, which helps protect the bacterium from visible light.

Activation of bacterial porin gene expression by a chimeric signal transducer in response to aspartate.

The Tar chemoreceptor of Escherichia coli is a membrane-bound sensory protein that facilitates bacterial chemotaxis in response to aspartate. The EnvZ molecule has a membrane topology similar to Tar

Transmembrane signaling. Mutational analysis of the cytoplasmic linker region of Taz1-1, a Tar-EnvZ chimeric receptor in Escherichia coli.

The results suggest that the residue at position 231 in Taz1-1 plays a key role in signal transduction.

Self-Organization in Biological Systems

This book is a self-contained introduction to self-organization and complexity in biology - a field of study at the forefront of life sciences research.

CikA, a bacteriophytochrome that resets the cyanobacterial circadian clock.

The CikA protein sequence reveals that it is a divergent bacteriophytochrome with characteristic histidine protein kinase motifs and a cryptic response regulator motifs, and is likely a key component of a pathway that provides environmental input to the circadian oscillator in S. elongatus.

J. Biol. Syst

  • J. Biol. Syst
  • 1998