In silico design and in vivo implementation of yeast gene Boolean gates.

Research paper by Mario A MA Marchisio

Indexed on: 04 Feb '14Published on: 04 Feb '14Published in: Journal of Biological Engineering


In our previous computational work, we showed that gene digital circuits can be automatically designed in an electronic fashion. This demands, first, a conversion of the truth table into Boolean formulas with the Karnaugh map method and, then, the translation of the Boolean formulas into circuit schemes organized into layers of Boolean gates and Pools of signal carriers. In our framework, gene digital circuits that take up to three different input signals (chemicals) arise from the composition of three kinds of basic Boolean gates, namely YES, NOT, and AND. Here we present a library of YES, NOT, and AND gates realized via plasmidic DNA integration into the yeast genome. Boolean behavior is reproduced via the transcriptional control of a synthetic bipartite promoter that contains sequences of the yeast VPH1 and minimal CYC1 promoters together with operator binding sites for bacterial (i.e. orthogonal) repressor proteins. Moreover, model-driven considerations permitted us to pinpoint a strategy for re-designing gates when a better digital performance is required. Our library of well-characterized Boolean gates is the basis for the assembly of more complex gene digital circuits. As a proof of concepts, we engineered two 2-input OR gates, designed by our software, by combining YES and NOT gates present in our library.