Mammalian synthetic biology: Emerging medical applications

Zoltán Kis, Hugo Sant Ana Pereira, Takayuki Homma, Ryan M. Pedrigi, Rob Krams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20141000
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number106
StatePublished - May 6 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gene therapy
  • Mammalian cells
  • Synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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