Sci. Signal., 6 September 2011
Cell Biology Intracellular Therapy Tool
Science, AAAS, Washington, DC 20005, USA
One goal of synthetic biology is to integrate a genetic circuit into mammalian cells that can detect a diseased state and trigger a therapeutic appropriate response. Xie et al. have engineered a regulatory circuit that specifically triggers apoptosis if it detects a microRNA profile characteristic of HeLa cancer cells. Programmed biological actuation, like this example, in response to complex intracellular conditions could be valuable in applications such as drug screening, although to realize its full therapeutic potential the technology will have to overcome major challenges, not least in vivo DNA delivery.
Citation: V. Vinson, Intracellular Therapy Tool. Sci. Signal. 4, ec246 (2011).
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