Constitutional Dynamic Networks-Guided Synthesis of Programmed "Genes", Transcription of mRNAs, and Translation of Proteins

Sivan Lilienthal, Guo Feng Luo, Shan Wang, Liang Yue, Amit Fischer, Avner Ehrlich, Yaakov Nahmias, Itamar Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Inspired by nature, where dynamic networks control the levels of gene expression and the activities of transcribed/translated proteins, we introduce nucleic acid-based constitutional dynamic networks (CDNs) as functional modules mimicking native circuits by demonstrating CDNs-guided programmed synthesis of genes, controlled transcription of RNAs, and dictated transcription/translation synthesis of proteins. An auxiliary CDN consisting of four dynamically equilibrated constituents AA′, AB′, BA′, and BB′ is orthogonally triggered by two different inputs yielding two different compositionally reconfigured CDNs. Subjecting the parent auxiliary CDN to two hairpins, HA and HB, and two templates TA and TB and a nicking/replication machinery leads to the cleavage of the hairpins and to the activation of the nicking/replication machineries that synthesize two "genes", e.g., the histidine-dependent DNAzyme g1 and the Zn2+-ion-dependent DNAzyme g2. The triggered orthogonal reconfiguration of the parent CDN to the respective CDNs leads to the programmed preferred CDN-guided synthesis of g1 or g2. Similarly, the triggered reconfigured CDNs are subjected to two hairpins HC and HD, the templates I′/I and J′/J, and the RNA polymerase (RNAp)/NTPs machinery. While the cleavage of the hairpins by the constituents associated with the parent CDN leads to the transcription of the broccoli aptamer recognizing the DFHBI ligand and of the aptamer recognizing the malachite green (MG) ligand, the orthogonally triggered CDNs lead to the CDNs-guided enhanced transcription of either the DFHBI aptamer or the MG aptamer. In addition, subjecting the triggered reconfigured CDNs to predesigned hairpins HE and HF, the templates M′/M and N′/N, the RNAp/NTPs machinery, and the cell-free ribosome t-RNA machinery leads to the CDNs-guided transcription/translation of the green fluorescence protein (GFP) or red fluorescence protein (RFP).

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number51
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is supported by the Israel Science Foundation.

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