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Synthetic T-rEX SIGNED

A synthetic biology approach for T cell exhaustion

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 Synthetic T-rEX project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the Synthetic T-rEX project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "Synthetic T-rEX" about.

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Project "Synthetic T-rEX" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA MOREGO 30
city: GENOVA
postcode: 16163

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Total cost 1˙496˙250 €
 EC max contribution 1˙496˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2019-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-02-01   to  2025-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Synthetic Biology has revolutionised approaches for several scientific, industrial and medical applications. These include the development of immunotherapies based on bioengineered cells, most notably engineering of patients T cells with tumor-targeting receptors, the CAR-T cells. Cell-based immunotherapies have shown remarkable clinical success; yet, long-term benefits are hampered by dysfunction of T cells occurring following antigen chronic exposure, a process known as T cell exhaustion. Current treatments of T cell exhaustion are limited and exhibit adverse effects. Synthetic T-rEX aims to reprogram exhausted T-cells using synthetic biology circuits, to implement enhanced and more effective immune cell-based therapies. We will develop specific, self-contained genetic circuits with improved capabilities that minimise the impact on normal cell physiology; by pre-programmed integration of exhaustion-specific intracellular signals, these will rewire T cell activity and restore normal function. Circuits will be developed using a stepwise, bottom-up approach to identify exhaustion-specific inputs by RNA and microRNA-sequencing profile performed on ex vivo exhausted human CD8 T cells. We will then design (a) synthetic promoters and (b) microRNA-regulated 5’UTR that will compute information processing to trigger output activation. Localised therapy will rely on concerted action of genetically encoded immune-checkpoint blockade and fine-tuning of epigenetic modulators that play a major role in T cell exhaustion. Finally, we will engineer T cells with sensor-actuator synthetic devices that revert exhaustion (T-rEX cells). In summary, our proposal provides a paradigm shift in the development of strategies against T cell exhaustion and a solid break-through towards enhanced natural and cell-based immunotherapy. More broadly, the proposed approach will unleash the potential of synthetic biology to the next level of therapeutic intervention.

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The information about "SYNTHETIC T-REX" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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