center for systems

& synthetic biology

an NIGMS national systems biology center


Engineering cell polarity

October 12, 2012

Center investigators Angi Chau, Jessica Walter, Wendell Lim and colleagues have taken a synthetic biology approach to investigate cell polarization. Using a course-grained computational model, they searched for all possible simple networks that could achieve polarization. They then utilized this information in experiments by constructing artificial polarization networks in yeast. Using chimeric signaling proteins, they were able to spatially direct the synthesis and degradation of PIP3 poles, thus shedding light on the design principles governing cell polarization. This work was published in the October 12th issue of Cell.