A positive feedback-based gene circuit to increase the production of a membrane protein

Karan Bansal, Ke Yang, Goutam J. Nistala, Robert B. Gennis, Kaustubh D. Bhalerao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Membrane proteins are an important class of proteins, playing a key role in many biological processes, and are a promising target in pharmaceutical development. However, membrane proteins are often difficult to produce in large quantities for the purpose of crystallographic or biochemical analyses.Results: In this paper, we demonstrate that synthetic gene circuits designed specifically to overexpress certain genes can be applied to manipulate the expression kinetics of a model membrane protein, cytochrome bd quinol oxidase in E. coli, resulting in increased expression rates. The synthetic circuit involved is an engineered, autoinducer-independent variant of the lux operon activator LuxR from V. fischeri in an autoregulatory, positive feedback configuration.Conclusions: Our proof-of-concept experiments indicate a statistically significant increase in the rate of production of the bd oxidase membrane protein. Synthetic gene networks provide a feasible solution for the problem of membrane protein production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalJournal of Biological Engineering
StatePublished - May 25 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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