Computational genes: a tool for molecular diagnosis and therapy of aberrant mutational phenotype
1 Institute of Computer Technology, Hamburg University of Technology, Hamburg 21073, Germany
2 Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried 82152, Germany
BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:365 doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-365Published: 28 September 2007
A finite state machine manipulating information-carrying DNA strands can be used to perform autonomous molecular-scale computations at the cellular level.
We propose a new finite state machine able to detect and correct aberrant molecular phenotype given by mutated genetic transcripts. The aberrant mutations trigger a cascade reaction: specific molecular markers as input are released and induce a spontaneous self-assembly of a wild type protein or peptide, while the mutational disease phenotype is silenced. We experimentally demostrated in in vitro translation system that a viable protein can be autonomously assembled.
Our work demostrates the basic principles of computational genes and particularly, their potential to detect mutations, and as a response thereafter administer an output that suppresses the aberrant disease phenotype and/or restores the lost physiological function.