A tunable dual-input system for on-demand dynamic gene expression regulation

Elisa Pedone, Lorena Postiglione, Francesco Aulicino, Dan L Rocca, Sandra Montes-Olivas, Mahmoud Khazim, Diego di Bernardo, Maria Pia Cosma, Lucia Marucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


Cellular systems have evolved numerous mechanisms to adapt to environmental stimuli, underpinned by dynamic patterns of gene expression. In addition to gene transcription regulation, modulation of protein levels, dynamics and localization are essential checkpoints governing cell functions. The introduction of inducible promoters has allowed gene expression control using orthogonal molecules, facilitating its rapid and reversible manipulation to study gene function. However, differing protein stabilities hinder the generation of protein temporal profiles seen in vivo. Here, we improve the Tet-On system integrating conditional destabilising elements at the post-translational level and permitting simultaneous control of gene expression and protein stability. We show, in mammalian cells, that adding protein stability control allows faster response times, fully tunable and enhanced dynamic range, and improved in silico feedback control of gene expression. Finally, we highlight the effectiveness of our dual-input system to modulate levels of signalling pathway components in mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4481 (2019)
Number of pages13
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2019

Structured keywords

  • Bristol BioDesign Institute
  • BrisSynBio
  • Cybergenetics
  • Engineering Mathematics Research Group


  • computational models
  • lab-on-a-chip
  • synthetic biology


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