Principles of cell-free genetic circuit assembly

Vincent Noireaux, Roy Bar-Ziv, Albert Libchaber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Cell-free genetic circuit elements were constructed in a transcription-translation extract. We engineered transcriptional activation and repression cascades, in which the protein product of each stage is the input required to drive or block the following stage. Although we can find regions of linear response for single stages, cascading to subsequent stages requires working in nonlinear regimes. Substantial time delays and dramatic decreases in output production are incurred with each additional stage because of a bottleneck at the translation machinery. Faster turnover of RNA message can relieve competition between genes and stabilize output against variations in input and parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12672-12677
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 28 2003


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