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The Genetic Toggle Switch


  • Input: transient introduction of an inducer (IPTG, ATc or heat).
  • Output: Switching between Two distinct steady states under a controllable stimulus
  • Reversibly switching the expression of a gene of interest between a stable “on” state and stable “off” state or vice versa via transient exposure to a switching agent.

The toggle switch is of interest due to its plethora of biological applications. By coupling inducers to other molecules, synthetic mammalian biosensors based on toggle switches have been created for sensing signals such as antibiotics, temperature changes, quorum sensing molecules, gases and metabolites and gene expression. Potential future applications include optogenetic studies in mammals and plants, bioremediation, genetic therapy and clinical applications such as antibiotic development or anticancer “kill switches”. Upon successful construction, our goal is to test out different promoter pairs to construct a library of toggle switches.