Tuning Gene's Expression to Understand Its Function

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Date: March 10, 2009
Duration: 0 / 01:15

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At The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Gabor Balazsi and colleagues have developed a synthetic gene circuit that allows precise tuning of gene expression. Graduate student Rhys Adams, followed by postdoctoral fellow Dmitry Nevozhay, explain.

Rhys Adams:

These computer simulations form our mathematical model show the gene response to increasing inducer doses, which are shown in the lower left corner.

This black screen is not a mistake!

At low doses typical gene expression systems are not responsive.

At medium doses the response is not uniform, suddenly reaching maximum levels.

This makes studies in the dependency between gene expression levels and gene function very difficult.

Dmitry Nevozhay:

Contrary, in this simulated movie with the system we developed we can see that gene expression raises as the dose of the inducer increases.

This allows us to change the expression of a any gene in a very precise and linear manner.

These findings have a huge potential impact not only for studies on gene functions, but also for biotechnology and gene therapy, which will enable us to control gene expression in a very accurately.

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