Synthetic incoherent feedforward circuits show adaptation to the amount of their genetic template

Leonidas Bleris, Zhen Xie, David Glass, Asa Adadey, Eduardo Sontag, Yaakov Benenson
Natural and synthetic biological networks must function reliably in the face of fluctuating stoichiometry of their molecular components. These fluctuations are caused in part by changes in relative expression efficiency and the DNA template amount of the network-coding genes. Gene product levels could potentially be decoupled from these changes via built-in adaptation mechanisms, thereby boosting network reliability. Here, we show that a mechanism based on an incoherent feedforward motif
more » ... adaptive gene expression in mammalian cells. We modeled, synthesized, and tested transcriptional and post-transcriptional incoherent loops and found that in all cases the gene product adapts to changes in DNA template abundance. We also observed that the post-transcriptional form results in superior adaptation behavior, higher absolute expression levels, and lower intrinsic fluctuations. Our results support a previously hypothesized endogenous role in gene dosage compensation for such motifs and suggest that their incorporation in synthetic networks will improve their robustness and reliability. Molecular Systems Biology 7: 519;
doi:10.3929/ethz-b-000039302 fatcat:kyoost5jr5eebg4erm63eqgsty