Generalized extracellular molecule sensor platform for programming cellular behavior

The first step in engineering cellular behavior is to choose an input which regulates the programmed behavior. The choice of input, while heavily dependent on the specific application, is severely restricted by the type of molecular sensors (such as receptors) available for experiments. Until now, researchers mostly mined nature for its bounty of sensor proteins which have evolved over millions of years to specifically sense an input.

To combat this bottleneck and generate universal receptors, we created generalized extracellular molecule sensors (GEMS) and reported it in a recent publication in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. By using fragments from antibodies raised against the desired target in combination with engineered natural receptor fragments, the choice of the target as well as the endogenous signaling pathway controlled by the target is up to the researcher. This substantially expands the design space in synthetic biology and might lead to a flurry of exciting new projects!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close