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BMC Biotechnol. 2011 Nov 10;11:105. doi: 10.1186/1472-6750-11-105.

A bacteria colony-based screen for optimal linker combinations in genetically encoded biosensors.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G2, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fluorescent protein (FP)-based biosensors based on the principle of intramolecular Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) enable the visualization of a variety of biochemical events in living cells. The construction of these biosensors requires the genetic insertion of a judiciously chosen molecular recognition element between two distinct hues of FP. When the molecular recognition element interacts with the analyte of interest and undergoes a conformational change, the ratiometric emission of the construct is altered due to a change in the FRET efficiency. The sensitivity of such biosensors is proportional to the change in ratiometric emission, and so there is a pressing need for methods to maximize the ratiometric change of existing biosensor constructs in order to increase the breadth of their utility.

RESULTS:

To accelerate the development and optimization of improved FRET-based biosensors, we have developed a method for function-based high-throughput screening of biosensor variants in colonies of Escherichia coli. We have demonstrated this technology by undertaking the optimization of a biosensor for detection of methylation of lysine 27 of histone H3 (H3K27). This effort involved the construction and screening of 3 distinct libraries: a domain library that included several engineered binding domains isolated by phage-display; a lower-resolution linker library; and a higher-resolution linker library.

CONCLUSION:

Application of this library screening methodology led to the identification of an optimized H3K27-trimethylation biosensor that exhibited an emission ratio change (66%) that was 2.3 × improved relative to that of the initially constructed biosensor (29%).

PMID:
22074568
PMCID:
PMC3225322
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6750-11-105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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