Modular Riboswitch Toolsets for Synthetic Genetic Control in Diverse Bacterial Species.

Christopher Robinson, Helen Vincent, Ming-Cheng Wu, Phillip Lowe, Mark Dunstan, David Leys, Jason Micklefield

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Ligand-dependent control of gene expression is essential for gene functional analysis, target validation, protein production, and metabolic engineering. However, the expression tools currently available are difficult to transfer between species and exhibit limited mechanistic diversity. Here we demonstrate how the modular architecture of purine riboswitches can be exploited to develop orthogonal and chimeric switches that are transferable across diverse bacterial species, modulating either transcription or translation, to provide tunable activation or repression of target gene expression, in response to synthetic non-natural effector molecules. Our novel riboswitch-ligand pairings are shown to regulate physiologically important genes required for bacterial motility in Escherichia coli and cell morphology in Bacillus subtilis. These findings are relevant for future gene function studies and antimicrobial target validation, while providing new modular and orthogonal regulatory components for deployment in synthetic biology regimes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)10615–10624
    JournalJ. Am. Chem. Soc.
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2014

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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