Biosciences Department Seminar
"Synthetic Approaches to Gene Expression Control: From Yeast to Cancer"
Presented by Gabor Balazsi, Laufer Center for Physical & Quantitative Biology, Stony Brook University
Friday, June 20, 2014, 11 am
John Dunn Seminar Room, Bldg. 463
Hosted by: John Shanklin
Genes are templates for protein synthesis. Proteins determine how cells behave. Therefore, to control cells, we should alter protein levels. This is possible by utilizing small artificial regulatory networks called gene expression systems, which consist of a transcription factor gene that alters the protein-producing capacity of other genes. Gene expression systems have been used widely, but without considering the stochasticity of reactions involving gene products. Stochasticity can cause drastic protein level differences from cell to cell, implying that individual cells may not uniformly obey control signals. To address this problem, we have modified existing gene expression systems to control not only the average, but also the variability of protein levels in yeast cells. Further, we have identified a series of steps to move gene expression systems into mammalian cells. Such engineered gene circuits can improve protein level tuning, enhancing our understanding of protein function and enabling future practical applications.