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Synthetic Morphology Using Alternative Inputs

  • Author(s): Tanaka, Hiromasa
  • Yi, Tau-Mu
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

Designing the shape and size of a cell is an interesting challenge for synthetic biology. Prolonged exposure to the mating pheromone α-factor induces an unusual morphology in yeast cells: multiple mating projections. The goal of this work was to reproduce the multiple projections phenotype in the absence of α-factor using a gain-of-function approach termed “Alternative Inputs (AIs)”. An alternative input is defined as any genetic manipulation that can activate the signaling pathway instead of the natural input. Interestingly, none of the alternative inputs were sufficient to produce multiple projections although some produced a single projection. Then, we extended our search by creating all combinations of alternative inputs and deletions that were summarized in an AIs-Deletions matrix. We found a genetic manipulation (AI-Ste5p ste2Δ) that enhanced the formation of multiple projections. Following up this lead, we demonstrated that AI-Ste4p and AI-Ste5p were sufficient to produce multiple projections when combined. Further, we showed that overexpression of a membrane-targeted form of Ste5p alone could also induce multiple projections. Thus, we successfully re-engineered the multiple projections mating morphology using alternative inputs without α-factor.

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