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Functionalizing cell-free systems with CRISPR-associated proteins: Application to RNA-based circuit engineering

Lehr, F.-X. ; Kuzembayeva, A. ; Bailey, M. ; Kleindienst, W. ; Kabisch, J. ; Koeppl, H. (2021):
Functionalizing cell-free systems with CRISPR-associated proteins: Application to RNA-based circuit engineering.
In: ACS Synthetic Biology, (Preprint), ACS Publications, ISSN 2161-5063,
DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.08.438922,
[Article]

Abstract

Cell-free systems have become a compelling choice for the prototyping of synthetic circuits. Many robust protocols for preparing cell-free systems are now available along with toolboxes designed for a variety of applications. Thus far the production of cell-free extracts has often been decoupled from the production of functionalized proteins. Here, we leveraged the most recently published protocol for E. coli-based cell extracts with the endogenous production of two CRISPR-associated proteins, Csy4 and dCas9. We found pre-expression did not affect the resulting extract performance, and the final concentrations of the endonucleases matched the level required for synthetic circuit prototyping. We demonstrated the benefits and versatility of dCas9 and Csy4 through the use of RNA circuitry based on a combination of single guide RNAs, small transcriptional activator RNAs and toehold switches. For instance, we show that Csy4 processing increased fourfold the dynamic range of a previously published AND-logic gate. Additionally, blending the CRISPR-enhanced extracts enabled us to reduce leakage in a multiple inputs gate, and to extend the type of Boolean functions available for RNA-based circuits, such as NAND-logic. Finally, the use of dual transcriptional and translational reporters for the engineering of RNA-based circuits, allowed us to gain better insight into their underlying mechanisms. We hope this work will facilitate the adoption of advanced processing tools for RNA-based circuit prototyping in a cell-free environment.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2021
Creators: Lehr, F.-X. ; Kuzembayeva, A. ; Bailey, M. ; Kleindienst, W. ; Kabisch, J. ; Koeppl, H.
Title: Functionalizing cell-free systems with CRISPR-associated proteins: Application to RNA-based circuit engineering
Language: English
Abstract:

Cell-free systems have become a compelling choice for the prototyping of synthetic circuits. Many robust protocols for preparing cell-free systems are now available along with toolboxes designed for a variety of applications. Thus far the production of cell-free extracts has often been decoupled from the production of functionalized proteins. Here, we leveraged the most recently published protocol for E. coli-based cell extracts with the endogenous production of two CRISPR-associated proteins, Csy4 and dCas9. We found pre-expression did not affect the resulting extract performance, and the final concentrations of the endonucleases matched the level required for synthetic circuit prototyping. We demonstrated the benefits and versatility of dCas9 and Csy4 through the use of RNA circuitry based on a combination of single guide RNAs, small transcriptional activator RNAs and toehold switches. For instance, we show that Csy4 processing increased fourfold the dynamic range of a previously published AND-logic gate. Additionally, blending the CRISPR-enhanced extracts enabled us to reduce leakage in a multiple inputs gate, and to extend the type of Boolean functions available for RNA-based circuits, such as NAND-logic. Finally, the use of dual transcriptional and translational reporters for the engineering of RNA-based circuits, allowed us to gain better insight into their underlying mechanisms. We hope this work will facilitate the adoption of advanced processing tools for RNA-based circuit prototyping in a cell-free environment.

Journal or Publication Title: ACS Synthetic Biology
Issue Number: Preprint
Publisher: ACS Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords: synthetic biology, CRISPR, circuit engineering
Divisions: 18 Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology
18 Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology > Institute for Telecommunications > Bioinspired Communication Systems
18 Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology > Institute for Telecommunications
Interdisziplinäre Forschungsprojekte
Interdisziplinäre Forschungsprojekte > Centre for Synthetic Biology
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2021 07:11
DOI: 10.1101/2021.04.08.438922
Additional Information:

This article is a preprint and has not been certified by peer review. The authors use the bioRxiv service to make their manuscripts available.

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