A Synthetic Oscillating Gene Circuit for S. cerevisiae

Natalie Ostroff, University of California, San Diego

Photo of Natalie Ostroff

One of the defining characteristics of life is the ability to keep time, which organisms often achieve by using internal genetic “clocks” to govern periodic behavior. While the gene networks that govern these processes are typically quite elaborate, certain recurring network motifs are often found at the core of these biological clocks. Here, we design and construct a simple two-gene oscillatory network, based on a design principle common to many eukaryotic clocks. Upon integration into the yeast genome, the S. cerevisilator is able to maintain oscillatory behavior throughout many generations of life. We use a combination of single-cell fluorescence microscopy and computational modeling to demonstrate that this simple circuit effectively forms the core of a synthetic eukaryotic oscillatory network.

Abstract Author(s): Natalie Ostroff, William Blake, Joyce Luke, Lev Tsimring, and Jeff Hasty