Endy:F2620/Miscellaneous communications

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Johnson & Johnson award

7.18 report

Intro 1 [1]

Intro 2 [2]

M&M 1 [3]

M&M 2 [4]

Discussion [5]

Results [6]

The total thing [7]

IBE Abstract

Characterization of BBa_F2620, an engineered cell-cell communication device

Anna Labno, Barry Canton, Drew Endy

Division of Biological Engineering, MIT

Current research in synthetic biology aims to enable the design and construction of living organisms in the manner that we now engineer electrical, mechanical, and other systems. To facilitate design of higher-order systems, we need to be able to predict the behavior of a system from the characteristics of the components that might comprise it. Thus, designing and using a methodology for characterizing the performance of biological parts and devices is central to the future success of biological engineering. Here, we engineered a cell-cell communication device, BBa_F2620, based on parts from the quorum sensing system of Vibrio fischeri [1]. BBa_F2620 is a receiver device that responds to the concentration of a small signaling molecule (AHL) in the media by modulating the transcription rate that is output from the device. To begin to systematically characterize BBa_F2620, we connected it upstream of BBa_E0240, a fluorescent protein-based reporter device, and measured the following properties: device INPUT/OUTPUT transfer function (including switch point, latency, and variation across clonal colonies), input signal specificity, and device stability (both genetic and performance). We used this data in conjunction with a simple mathematical model to define the output of BBa_F2620 in terms of PoPS, a common signal carrier for gene expression, and to populate a first-generation datasheet that describes the use and operation of BBa_F2620. We hope that the biological engineering community will begin to work together to populate a library of well-characterized devices in a manner similar to that described here, and propose that a standards committee for device characterization be started in support of such work.

[1] BBa_F2620 is made using the following standard biological parts: BBa_R0040, B0034, C0062, B0015 and R0062. All parts are available via the Registry of Standard Biological Parts, http://parts.mit.edu/