1. Cancer Biology
  2. Computational and Systems Biology
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Synthesizing artificial devices that redirect cellular information at will

Research Article
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Cite as: eLife 2018;7:e31936 doi: 10.7554/eLife.31936

Abstract

Natural signaling circuits could be rewired to reprogram cells with pre-determined procedures. However, it is difficult to link cellular signals at will. Here, we describe signal-connectors-a series of RNA devices-that connect one signal to another signal at the translational level. We use them to either repress or enhance the translation of target genes in response to signals. Application of these devices allows us to construct various logic gates and to incorporate feedback loops into gene networks. They have also been used to rewire a native signaling pathway and even to create novel pathways. Furthermore, logical AND gates based on these devices and integration of multiple signals have been used successfully for identification and redirection of the state of cancer cells. Eventually, the malignant phenotypes of cancers have been reversed by rewiring the oncogenic signaling from promoting to suppressing tumorigenesis. We provide a novel platform for redirecting cellular information.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Yuchen Liu

    Key Laboratory of Medical Reprogramming Technology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
    For correspondence
    liuyuchenmdcg@163.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon 0000-0002-6517-0022
  2. Jianfa Li

    Key Laboratory of Medical Reprogramming Technology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Zhicong Chen

    Key Laboratory of Medical Reprogramming Technology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Weiren Huang

    Key Laboratory of Medical Reprogramming Technology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Zhiming Cai

    Key Laboratory of Medical Reprogramming Technology, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
    For correspondence
    caizhiming2000@163.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (81402103)

  • Yuchen Liu

National Natural Science Foundation of China (81773257)

  • Yuchen Liu

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All mice were housed and handled in accordance with protocols approved by the Committee on the Use of Live Animals in Teaching and Research of Shenzhen University. To minimize suffering, all surgeries were performed under anesthesia.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Naama Barkai, Reviewing Editor, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Publication history

  1. Received: September 12, 2017
  2. Accepted: January 8, 2018
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 10, 2018 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 29, 2018 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2018, Liu et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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