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(500b) Engineering Transcriptional Interference for Designing Synthetic Gene Circuits

Chatterjee, A., University of Colorado Boulder
Escalas, A., University of Colorado Boulder
An important goal of synthetic biology involves the extension and standardization of novel biological elements for applications in medicine and biotechnology. Transcriptional interference, occurring in sets of convergent promoters, offers a promising mechanism for building elements for the design of tunable gene regulation. Here, we investigate the transcriptional interference mechanisms of antisense roadblock and RNA polymerase traffic in a set of convergent promoters as novel modules for synthetic biology. We show examples of elements, including antisense roadblock, relative promoter strengths, inter-promoter distance, and sequence content that can be tuned to give rise to repressive as well as cooperative behaviors, therefore resulting in distinct gene expression patterns. Our approach will be useful towards engineering new biological devices and will bring new insights to naturally occurring cis-antisense systems. Therefore, we are reporting a new biological tool that can be used for synthetic biology.