4 years ago

Medium-Throughput Screen of Microbially Produced Serotonin via a G-Protein-Coupled Receptor-Based Sensor

Medium-Throughput Screen of Microbially Produced Serotonin via a G-Protein-Coupled Receptor-Based Sensor
Amy M. Ehrenworth, Pamela Peralta-Yahya, Tauris Claiborne
Chemical biosensors, for which chemical detection triggers a fluorescent signal, have the potential to accelerate the screening of noncolorimetric chemicals produced by microbes, enabling the high-throughput engineering of enzymes and metabolic pathways. Here, we engineer a G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-based sensor to detect serotonin produced by a producer microbe in the producer microbe’s supernatant. Detecting a chemical in the producer microbe’s supernatant is nontrivial because of the number of other metabolites and proteins present that could interfere with sensor performance. We validate the two-cell screening system for medium-throughput applications, opening the door to the rapid engineering of microbes for the increased production of serotonin. We focus on serotonin detection as serotonin levels limit the microbial production of hydroxystrictosidine, a modified alkaloid that could accelerate the semisynthesis of camptothecin-derived anticancer pharmaceuticals. This work shows the ease of generating GPCR-based chemical sensors and their ability to detect specific chemicals in complex aqueous solutions, such as microbial spent medium. In addition, this work sets the stage for the rapid engineering of serotonin-producing microbes.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00605

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b00605

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