Research ResourceBIOSENSORS

A Versatile Toolkit to Produce Sensitive FRET Biosensors to Visualize Signaling in Time and Space

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Science Signaling  23 Jul 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 285, pp. rs12
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004135

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Seeing Signaling in Action

Biosensors consist of two fluorophores that produce a light signal when in close proximity and a “sensing module,” which is a protein (or protein fragment) that detects a signaling event, such as the activated state of a guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) or the activity of a kinase. Producing optimal biosensors to monitor specific signaling events is challenging and time-consuming. Fritz et al. constructed a library of FRET vectors that enabled the rapid generation of highly effective biosensors and created an improved biosensor for RhoA GTPase activity that was used to detect spatial regulation of RhoA activity in filopodia and neuronal growth cones and another that monitors activity of the mitogen-activated protein kinase ERK and was used to detect the activity of this enzyme in living zebrafish.

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