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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Climent-Catala, A and Ouldridge, TE and Stan, G-BV and Bae, W},
doi = {10.1021/acssynbio.1c00580},
journal = {ACS Synthetic Biology},
pages = {562--569},
title = {Building an RNA-based toggle switch using inhibitory RNA aptamers},
url = {},
volume = {11},
year = {2022}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Synthetic RNA systems offer unique advantages such as faster response, increased specificity, and programmability compared to conventional protein-based networks. Here, we demonstrate an in vitro RNA-based toggle switch using RNA aptamers capable of inhibiting the transcriptional activity of T7 or SP6 RNA polymerases. The activities of both polymerases are monitored simultaneously by using Broccoli and malachite green light-up aptamer systems. In our toggle switch, a T7 promoter drives the expression of SP6 inhibitory aptamers, and an SP6 promoter expresses T7 inhibitory aptamers. We show that the two distinct states originating from the mutual inhibition of aptamers can be toggled by adding DNA sequences to sequester the RNA inhibitory aptamers. Finally, we assessed our RNA-based toggle switch in degrading conditions by introducing controlled degradation of RNAs using a mix of RNases. Our results demonstrate that the RNA-based toggle switch could be used as a control element for nucleic acid networks in synthetic biology applications.
AU - Climent-Catala,A
AU - Ouldridge,TE
AU - Stan,G-BV
AU - Bae,W
DO - 10.1021/acssynbio.1c00580
EP - 569
PY - 2022///
SN - 2161-5063
SP - 562
TI - Building an RNA-based toggle switch using inhibitory RNA aptamers
T2 - ACS Synthetic Biology
UR -
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 11
ER -