Development of a light-switchable gene expression system in Escherichia coli
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- Development of a light-switchable gene expression system in Escherichia coli
- Lee, Jae Myung
- Lee, Sung Kuk
- Issue Date
- Graduate School of UNIST
- Light-mediated regulation of gene expression has become a rapidly advancing area of research across many fields of science and engineering. When light is used as an inducer of gene expression, it gains several advantages over other chemical inducers. In contrast to chemical inducers, light offers switchable gene expression without an alteration in metabolic conditions and it is a simple-to-use, inexpensive inducer. Levskaya et al. previously constructed a light-inducible promoter system in Escherichia coli by using a hybrid combination of a two-component system EnvZ/OmpR of E. coli and a cyanobacterial phytochrome, Cph1. However, this system cannot provide a coordinated control of the expression of multiple genes encoding for the enzymes of different metabolic pathways. Here, we developed a new light-switchable gene expression system using the λ cI protein as a transcriptional repressor of target genes. This synthetic sensory system can help control both chromosomal and plasmid-borne genes. We also found that the main parameters that determine the extent and duration of the light-switchable gene expression. The light-switchable promoter systems could be applied effectively in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology.
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