IPTG mimics allolactase, a lac operon inducer, and is commonly used in scientific research to create proteins. It does not break down as allolactase would, keeping protein creation in steady production depending on IPTG concentration. Below are recent scientific articles that highlight some IPTG's applications in current research, and some of the future of its use.

Novel sRNAS in E. coli

Who: Geunu Bak1 n1, Jungmin Lee1 n1, Shinae Suk1, Daun Kim1, Ji Young Lee1, Kwang-sun Kim2, Byong-Seok Choi1 & Younghoon

What: Novel sRNAS involved in biofilm formation, motility, and fimbriae formation in E. coli  were found.

Importance: sRNAs are regulators of many physiological processes, and only about a hundred of the large number of E. coli's sRNAs have been scientifically validated. The researchers found thirty-three of their sRNAs had an effect on cellular processes, confirming more characteristics of the complicated bacteria's sRNA-mediated metabolic pathways the and potentially critical functions.

The data reveals potentially critical functions of individual sRNAs in biofilm formation and other phenotypes, but also highlights the unexpected complexity of sRNA-mediated metabolic pathways leading to these processes of biofilm formation and related phenotypes.

(Click to go to article 'Identification of novel sRNAs involved in biofilm formation, motility, and fimbriae formation in Escherecia coli' doi:10.1038/srep15287)


Alternative Inducers

Who: Nah D Taylor,1, 2, Alexander S Garruss,1, 2, Rocco Moretti,3, 4, n1Sum Chan,5, Mark A Arbing,5, Duilio Cascio,5, Jameson K Rogers,1, 2, Farren J Isaacs,6, 7, Sriram Kosuri,8, David Baker,3, 4, Stanley Fields,4, 9, 10, George M Church1, 2, & Srivatsan Raman1, 2, n1

What: Engineered the allosteric transcription factor Escherichia coli lac repressor, LacI, to respond to one of four inducer molecules: fucose, gentiobiose, lactitol, and sucralose. They identified new variants comparable in specificity and induction to wild-type Lacl with it's inducer, IPTG.

Importance: Designer aTFs enable applications like dynamic control of cell metabolism, cell biology, and synthetic gene circuits.

(Click here for article 'Engineering an allosteric transcription factors to respond to new ligands' doi:10.1038/nmeth.3696)

Other IPTG Applications:

  1. 1. Synthetic biology: Synthetic biology is a new field of study that blends biology with mathematics, computer science, and engineering. Synthetic biologists are designing and building DNA devices to alter the output of cells for important applications in medicine, energy, technology, and the environment (Baker et al., 2006). For example, synthetic biologists in Scotland designed and constructed bacteria that can visually warn people about trace amounts of arsenic in drinking water (University of Edinburgh, 2006). Other synthetic biologists at UC Berkeley reengineered microbial metabolism to produce a powerful anti-malaria medication for one tenth the cost of conventional production methods (Ro et al., 2006). Using bacteria to perform such functions is beneficial and may soon lead to the production of carbon-neutral biofuels from waste material (Service, 2008).
  1. 2. Bone tissue engineering: Engineered bone tissue has been viewed as a potential alternative to the conventional use of bone grafts, due to their limitless supply and no disease transmission. However, bone tissue engineering practices have not proceeded to clinical practice due to several limitations or challenges. Bone tissue engineering aims to induce new functional bone regeneration via the synergistic combination of biomaterials, cells, and factor therapy.

To read more about new IPTG Synthetic Biology research, see our other post "Top 3 IPTG Review Papers in Synthetic Biology" here.


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