Universal genetic parts for bacteria


A portable expression resource for engineering cross-species genetic circuits and pathways


Manish Kushwaha Howard M. Salis


Published in: Nature Communications
Volume: 6, Issue: , Pages: 7832-
Published: 7/17/2015
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8832
Website: http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/ncomms8832

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This paper describes UBER, a set of universal genetic parts for bacteria.  This gene expression system for bacteria relying on a self-regulated T7 promoter. The advantage of this system is that it can be ported across species. The system is primed by using degenerate promoter sequences that works in many bacteria. The sequences were also optimized to ensure that the RBS would work in multiple bacteria. The strategy relying on a self-regulation of the T7 promoter has been used to develop gene therapy vectors even though these plasmids did not include any negative feed-back loop to minimize the metabolic cost of expressing the T7RNAP. See for instance An enhanced autogene-based dual-promoter cytoplasmic expression system yields increased gene expression.

This is an interesting system and well-written paper. I just wished the editors and journals would require the authors to provide the entire sequences of the plasmids described in the paper. Without sequence it might take someone some trial and errors to be able to use or customize this powerful system in another application. a