1932

Abstract

In 1961, Jacob and Monod proposed the operon model of gene regulation. At the model's core was the modular assembly of regulators, operators, and structural genes. To illustrate the composability of these elements, Jacob and Monod linked phenotypic diversity to the architectures of regulatory circuits. In this review, we examine how the circuit blueprints imagined by Jacob and Monod laid the foundation for the first synthetic gene networks that launched the field of synthetic biology in 2000. We discuss the influences of the operon model and its broader theoretical framework on the first generation of synthetic biological circuits, which were predominantly transcriptional and posttranscriptional circuits. We also describe how recent advances in molecular biology beyond the operon model—namely, programmable DNA- and RNA-binding molecules as well as models of epigenetic and posttranslational regulation—are expanding the synthetic biology toolkit and enabling the design of more complex biological circuits.

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2021-06-20
2024-06-19
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