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.
Drug resistance is a challenge in anticancer therapy. In many cases, cancers can be resistant to the drug prior to exposure, i.e., possess intrinsic drug resistance. However, we lack target-independent methods to anticipate resistance in cancer cell lines or characterize intrinsic drug resistance without a priori knowledge of its cause. We hypothesized that cell morphology could provide an unbiased readout of drug resistance. To test this hypothesis, we used HCT116 cells, a mismatch repair-deficient cancer cell line, to isolate clones that were resistant or sensitive to bortezomib, a well-characterized proteasome inhibitor and anticancer drug to which many cancer cells possess intrinsic resistance. We then expanded these clones and measured high-dimensional single-cell morphology profiles using Cell Painting, a high-content microscopy assay. Our imaging- and computation-based profiling pipeline identified morphological features that differed between resistant and sensitive cells. We used these features to generate a morphological signature of bortezomib resistance. We then employed this morphological signature to analyze a set of HCT116 clones (five resistant and five sensitive) that had not been included in the signature training dataset, and correctly predicted sensitivity to bortezomib in seven cases, in the absence of drug treatment. This signature predicted bortezomib resistance better than resistance to other drugs targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Our results establish a proof-of-concept framework for the unbiased analysis of drug resistance using high-content microscopy of cancer cells, in the absence of drug treatment.
Antigen immunogenicity and the specificity of binding of T-cell receptors to antigens are key properties underlying effective immune responses. Here we propose diffRBM, an approach based on transfer learning and Restricted Boltzmann Machines, to build sequence-based predictive models of these properties. DiffRBM is designed to learn the distinctive patterns in amino-acid composition that, on the one hand, underlie the antigen’s probability of triggering a response, and on the other hand the T-cell receptor’s ability to bind to a given antigen. We show that the patterns learnt by diffRBM allow us to predict putative contact sites of the antigen-receptor complex. We also discriminate immunogenic and non-immunogenic antigens, antigen-specific and generic receptors, reaching performances that compare favorably to existing sequence-based predictors of antigen immunogenicity and T-cell receptor specificity.