PerspectiveTRANSCRIPTION

Synthetic transcriptional synergy

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  10 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6440, pp. 531-532
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax4556

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

The architecture of transcription factors (TFs) is surprisingly modular (1). Each factor broadly consists of a DNA binding domain and an activation domain that recruits the cell's transcription apparatus. These domains can be combined in a plug-and-play manner to build synthetic TFs (synTFs). Such synTFs have been successfully used to program activation or repression of a gene of interest (24), a functionality that has proven essential for many studies in molecular biology and applications in biotechnology. On page 593 of this issue, Bashor et al. (5) present a successful approach for engineering cooperative synTF assemblies. These assemblies bring engineered control of gene expression closer to achieving the richness of behaviors exhibited by naturally cooperative TFs.