Amplifying genetic logic gates

Science. 2013 May 3;340(6132):599-603. doi: 10.1126/science.1232758. Epub 2013 Mar 28.


Organisms must process information encoded via developmental and environmental signals to survive and reproduce. Researchers have also engineered synthetic genetic logic to realize simpler, independent control of biological processes. We developed a three-terminal device architecture, termed the transcriptor, that uses bacteriophage serine integrases to control the flow of RNA polymerase along DNA. Integrase-mediated inversion or deletion of DNA encoding transcription terminators or a promoter modulates transcription rates. We realized permanent amplifying AND, NAND, OR, XOR, NOR, and XNOR gates actuated across common control signal ranges and sequential logic supporting autonomous cell-cell communication of DNA encoding distinct logic-gate states. The single-layer digital logic architecture developed here enables engineering of amplifying logic gates to control transcription rates within and across diverse organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage M13 / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Logic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Sequence Inversion
  • Transcription Termination, Genetic
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Integrases
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/KC529324
  • GENBANK/KC529325
  • GENBANK/KC529326
  • GENBANK/KC529327
  • GENBANK/KC529328
  • GENBANK/KC529329
  • GENBANK/KC529330
  • GENBANK/KC529331
  • GENBANK/KC529332