Division of labor between cells is ubiquitous in biology but the use of multi-cellular consortia for engineering applications is only beginning to be explored. A significant advantage of multi-cellular circuits is their potential to be modular with respect to composition but this claim has not yet been extensively tested using experiments and quantitative modeling. Here, we construct a library of 24 yeast strains capable of sending, receiving or responding to three molecular signals, characterize them experimentally and build quantitative models of their input-output relationships. We then compose these strains into two- and three-strain cascades as well as a four-strain bistable switch and show that experimentally measured consortia dynamics can be predicted from the models of the constituent parts. To further explore the achievable range of behaviors, we perform a fully automated computational search over all two-, three- and four-strain consortia to identify combinations that realize target behaviors including logic gates, band-pass filters and time pulses. Strain combinations that are predicted to map onto a target behavior are further computationally optimized and then experimentally tested. Experiments closely track computational predictions. The high reliability of these model descriptions further strengthens the feasibility and highlights the potential for distributed computing in synthetic biology.
Figure 1 - Source Data 1, Figure 2 - Source Data 1, Figure 3 - Source Data 1, Figure 4 - Source Data 1, Figure 5 - Source Data 1 contain the numerical data used to generate the figures
- Alberto Carignano
- Georg Seelig
- Eric Klavins
- Alberto Carignano
- Eric Klavins
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Xiaojun Tian
© 2022, Carignano 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.
Improving muscle function has great potential to improve the quality of life. To identify novel regulators of skeletal muscle metabolism and function, we performed a proteomic analysis of gastrocnemius muscle from 73 genetically distinct inbred mouse strains, and integrated the data with previously acquired genomics and >300 molecular/phenotypic traits via quantitative trait loci mapping and correlation network analysis. These data identified thousands of associations between protein abundance and phenotypes and can be accessed online (https://muscle.coffeeprot.com/) to identify regulators of muscle function. We used this resource to prioritize targets for a functional genomic screen in human bioengineered skeletal muscle. This identified several negative regulators of muscle function including UFC1, an E2 ligase for protein UFMylation. We show UFMylation is up-regulated in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that involves muscle atrophy. Furthermore, in vivo knockdown of UFMylation increased contraction force, implicating its role as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle function.
Intracellular states probed by gene expression profiles and metabolic activities are intrinsically noisy, causing phenotypic variations among cellular lineages. Understanding the adaptive and evolutionary roles of such variations requires clarifying their linkage to population growth rates. Extending a cell lineage statistics framework, here we show that a population’s growth rate can be expanded by the cumulants of a fitness landscape that characterize how fitness distributes in a population. The expansion enables quantifying the contribution of each cumulant, such as variance and skewness, to population growth. We introduce a function that contains all the essential information of cell lineage statistics, including mean lineage fitness and selection strength. We reveal a relation between fitness heterogeneity and population growth rate response to perturbation. We apply the framework to experimental cell lineage data from bacteria to mammalian cells, revealing distinct levels of growth rate gain from fitness heterogeneity across environments and organisms. Furthermore, third or higher order cumulants’ contributions are negligible under constant growth conditions but could be significant in regrowing processes from growth-arrested conditions. We identify cellular populations in which selection leads to an increase of fitness variance among lineages in retrospective statistics compared to chronological statistics. The framework assumes no particular growth models or environmental conditions, and is thus applicable to various biological phenomena for which phenotypic heterogeneity and cellular proliferation are important.