Rational design of functional and tunable oscillating enzymatic networks

S. N. Semenov, A. S. Y. Wong, R. M. Made, van der, S.G.J. Postma, J. Groen, H.W.H. Roekel, van, T.F.A. Greef, de, W.T.S. Huck

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Life is sustained by complex systems operating far from equilibrium and consisting of a multitude of enzymatic reaction networks. The operating principles of biology's regulatory networks are known, but the in vitro assembly of out-of-equilibrium enzymatic reaction networks has proved challenging, limiting the development of synthetic systems showing autonomous behaviour. Here, we present a strategy for the rational design of programmable functional reaction networks that exhibit dynamic behaviour. We demonstrate that a network built around autoactivation and delayed negative feedback of the enzyme ¿trypsin is capable of producing sustained oscillating concentrations of active ¿trypsin for over 65 h. Other functions, such as amplification, analog-to-digital conversion and periodic control over equilibrium systems, are obtained by linking multiple network modules in microfluidic flow reactors. The methodology developed here provides a general framework to construct dissipative, tunable and robust (bio)chemical reaction networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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