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Trends Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;24(12):539-42. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

Recent progress in developing FRET-based intracellular sensors for the detection of small molecule nutrients and ligands.

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  • 1Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering, Code 6900 U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave, SW Washington, DC 20375, USA.


Intracellular sensors for nutrients such as sugars, metabolic precursors and signaling ligands such as amino acids will help to elucidate the complex roles of these small molecules in biology. In this update, several recently developed sensors, originating from the Frommer laboratory, which combine bacterial periplasmic-binding protein-based specificity for ligand targeting with fluorescent protein-derived resonance energy transfer for signal transduction are reviewed. The insight gained from designing these sensors, along with the preliminary results gathered from their first application, serve to illustrate the impact that they can have on improving our fundamental understanding of biology.

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