Engineered quorum-sensing using pheromone-mediated cell-to-cell communication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Williams, Thomas C., Nielsen, Lars K. and Vickers, Claudia E. (2013) Engineered quorum-sensing using pheromone-mediated cell-to-cell communication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2 3: 136-149. doi:10.1021/sb300110b

Author Williams, Thomas C.
Nielsen, Lars K.
Vickers, Claudia E.
Title Engineered quorum-sensing using pheromone-mediated cell-to-cell communication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Journal name ACS Synthetic Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2161-5063
Publication date 2013-03-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1021/sb300110b
Volume 2
Issue 3
Start page 136
End page 149
Total pages 14
Place of publication Washington, DC United States
Publisher American Chemical Society
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Population-density-dependent control of gene expression, or quorum sensing, is widespread in nature and is used to coordinate complex population-wide phenotypes through space and time. We have engineered quorum sensing in S. cerevisiae by rewiring the native pheromone communication system that is normally used by haploid cells to detect potential mating partners. In our system, populations consisting of only mating type "a" cells produce and respond to extracellular α-type pheromone by arresting growth and expressing GFP in a population-density-dependent manner. Positive feedback quorum sensing dynamics were tuned by varying α-pheromone production levels using different versions of the pheromone-responsive FUS1 promoter as well as different versions of pheromone genes (mfα1 or mfα2). In a second system, pheromone communication was rendered conditional upon the presence of aromatic amino acids in the growth medium by controlling α-pheromone expression with the aromatic amino acid responsive ARO9 promoter. In these circuits, pheromone communication and response could be fine-tuned according to aromatic amino acid type and concentration. The genetic control programs developed here are responsive to dynamic spatiotemporal and chemical cellular environments, resulting in up-regulation of gene expression. These programs could be used to control biochemical pathways for the production of fuels and chemicals that are toxic or place a heavy metabolic burden on cell growt
Keyword Cell to cell communication
Dynamic Control
Quorum sensing
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 27 Mar 2013, 00:08:51 EST by Dr Claudia Vickers on behalf of School of Chemical Engineering