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Reprogramming Cellular Behavior with RNA Controllers Responsive to Endogenous Proteins

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Science  26 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6008, pp. 1251-1255
DOI: 10.1126/science.1192128

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Cellular Devices

Cellular control mechanisms might offer opportunities to build genetic devices capable of sensing aberrant cells and activate a regulatory signal that directs the cell to alter its biological state. Culler et al. (p. 1251; see the Perspective by Liu and Arkin) present a proof of principle for a synthetic gene network in which cells were engineered to make an RNA-based device that detected molecules associated with disease states such as inflammation and cancer. Detection then triggered expression of a gene that made the cells more sensitive to a drug causing cell death.

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