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      Dynamic feedback regulation for efficient membrane protein production using a small RNA-based genetic circuit in Escherichia coli

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          Abstract

          Background

          Membrane proteins (MPs) are an important class of molecules with a wide array of cellular functions and are part of many metabolic pathways. Despite their great potential—as therapeutic drug targets or in microbial cell factory optimization—many challenges remain for efficient and functional expression in a host such as Escherichia coli.

          Results

          A dynamically regulated small RNA-based circuit was developed to counter membrane stress caused by overexpression of different MPs. The best performing small RNAs were able to enhance the maximum specific growth rate with 123%. On culture level, the total MP production was increased two-to three-fold compared to a system without dynamic control. This strategy not only improved cell growth and production of the studied MPs, it also suggested the potential use for countering metabolic burden in general.

          Conclusions

          A dynamically regulated feedback circuit was developed that can sense metabolic stress caused by, in casu, the overexpression of an MP and responds to it by balancing the metabolic state of the cell and more specifically by downregulating the expression of the MP of interest. This negative feedback mechanism was established by implementing and optimizing simple-to-use genetic control elements based on post-transcriptional regulation: small non-coding RNAs. In addition to membrane-related stress when the MP accumulated in the cytoplasm as aggregates, the sRNA-based feedback control system was still effective for improving cell growth but resulted in a decreased total protein production. This result suggests promiscuity of the MP sensor for more than solely membrane stress.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12934-022-01983-2.

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          Most cited references96

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          Molecular Cloning : A Laboratory Manual

          <p>The first two editions of this manual have been mainstays of molecular biology for nearly twenty years, with an unrivalled reputation for reliability, accuracy, and clarity.<br>In this new edition, authors Joseph Sambrook and David Russell have completely updated the book, revising every protocol and adding a mass of new material, to broaden its scope and maintain its unbeatable value for studies in genetics, molecular cell biology, developmental biology, microbiology, neuroscience, and immunology.<br>Handsomely redesigned and presented in new bindings of proven durability, this three–volume work is essential for everyone using today’s biomolecular techniques.<br>The opening chapters describe essential techniques, some well–established, some new, that are used every day in the best laboratories for isolating, analyzing and cloning DNA molecules, both large and small.<br>These are followed by chapters on cDNA cloning and exon trapping, amplification of DNA, generation and use of nucleic acid probes, mutagenesis, and DNA sequencing.<br>The concluding chapters deal with methods to screen expression libraries, express cloned genes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotic cells, analyze transcripts and proteins, and detect protein–protein interactions.<br>The Appendix is a compendium of reagents, vectors, media, technical suppliers, kits, electronic resources and other essential information.<br>As in earlier editions, this is the only manual that explains how to achieve success in cloning and provides a wealth of information about why techniques work, how they were first developed, and how they have evolved. </p>
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            Mfold web server for nucleic acid folding and hybridization prediction.

            M Zuker (2003)
            The abbreviated name, 'mfold web server', describes a number of closely related software applications available on the World Wide Web (WWW) for the prediction of the secondary structure of single stranded nucleic acids. The objective of this web server is to provide easy access to RNA and DNA folding and hybridization software to the scientific community at large. By making use of universally available web GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces), the server circumvents the problem of portability of this software. Detailed output, in the form of structure plots with or without reliability information, single strand frequency plots and 'energy dot plots', are available for the folding of single sequences. A variety of 'bulk' servers give less information, but in a shorter time and for up to hundreds of sequences at once. The portal for the mfold web server is http://www.bioinfo.rpi.edu/applications/mfold. This URL will be referred to as 'MFOLDROOT'.
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              ViennaRNA Package 2.0

              Background Secondary structure forms an important intermediate level of description of nucleic acids that encapsulates the dominating part of the folding energy, is often well conserved in evolution, and is routinely used as a basis to explain experimental findings. Based on carefully measured thermodynamic parameters, exact dynamic programming algorithms can be used to compute ground states, base pairing probabilities, as well as thermodynamic properties. Results The ViennaRNA Package has been a widely used compilation of RNA secondary structure related computer programs for nearly two decades. Major changes in the structure of the standard energy model, the Turner 2004 parameters, the pervasive use of multi-core CPUs, and an increasing number of algorithmic variants prompted a major technical overhaul of both the underlying RNAlib and the interactive user programs. New features include an expanded repertoire of tools to assess RNA-RNA interactions and restricted ensembles of structures, additional output information such as centroid structures and maximum expected accuracy structures derived from base pairing probabilities, or z-scores for locally stable secondary structures, and support for input in fasta format. Updates were implemented without compromising the computational efficiency of the core algorithms and ensuring compatibility with earlier versions. Conclusions The ViennaRNA Package 2.0, supporting concurrent computations via OpenMP, can be downloaded from http://www.tbi.univie.ac.at/RNA.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                marjan.demey@ugent.be
                Journal
                Microb Cell Fact
                Microb Cell Fact
                Microbial Cell Factories
                BioMed Central (London )
                1475-2859
                15 December 2022
                15 December 2022
                2022
                : 21
                : 260
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.5342.0, ISNI 0000 0001 2069 7798, Centre for Synthetic Biology, , Ghent University, ; 9000 Ghent, Belgium
                Article
                1983
                10.1186/s12934-022-01983-2
                9753035
                36522655
                1c29f193-ea73-4f16-b67c-b1bf26e5ac67
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                History
                : 10 October 2022
                : 5 December 2022
                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100003130, Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek;
                Award ID: 1S16017N
                Award ID: 1S01018N
                Award ID: 1S29521N
                Award ID: 1SC6820N
                Award Recipient :
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                Research
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                © The Author(s) 2022

                Biotechnology
                membrane proteins,escherichia coli,srna-based genetic circuitry,industrial biotechnology

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