STAUbility - an Innovative Approach to Increase the Genetic Stability of Heterologous Genes
One of the key challenges in the field of synthetic biology is genomic instability of an introduced gene. Consider a population of genetically engineered organisms, each expressing a certain gene of interest. Once this gene is inserted into a host organism, it causes an additional metabolic load. Resources are allocated towards expression of the construct, thus significantly reducing host fitness in comparison to the wild type.
Therefore, loss-of-function mutations that damage the construct are likely to arise, diminishing gene expression. Due to their increased fitness, the mutated individuals eventually take over the population. These mutations could render synthetic-biology related products obsolete and require constant maintenance.
We wish to help synthetic biologists create more reliable constructs for long term use in bacterial cell populations. Our objective at the TAU Israel team sTAUbility is to stabilize your gene of interest. We propose interlocking a target gene to the N-terminus of an essential gene in the host’s genome, under the same promoter. This way, mutations on the target gene are likely to affect the transcription of the essential gene, leading to the lethality of the mutated host.
We developed a recommendation engine, as a software, that given an input target gene will:
- Match the best fitting essential gene to be coupled with the target gene.
- Choose the best linker for the construct's purpose.
- Optimize the combined construct for efficient translation and stability.
If you wish to know more, visit our Project Description Page or the Poster page.