A switchable light-input, light-output system modelled and constructed in yeast

Oxana Sorokina, Anita Kapus, Kata Terecskei, Laura E. Dixon, Laszlo Kozma-Bognar, Ferenc Nagy, Andrew J. Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Advances in synthetic biology will require spatio-temporal regulation of biological processes in heterologous host cells. We develop a light-switchable, two-hybrid interaction in yeast, based upon the Arabidopsis proteins PHYTOCHROME A and FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 1-LIKE. Light input to this regulatory module allows dynamic control of a light-emitting LUCIFERASE reporter gene, which we detect by real-time imaging of yeast colonies on solid media.Results: The reversible activation of the phytochrome by red light, and its inactivation by far-red light, is retained. We use this quantitative readout to construct a mathematical model that matches the system's behaviour and predicts the molecular targets for future manipulation.Conclusion: Our model, methods and materials together constitute a novel system for a eukaryotic host with the potential to convert a dynamic pattern of light input into a predictable gene expression response. This system could be applied for the regulation of genetic networks - both known and synthetic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalJournal of Biological Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Sep 17 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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