4 years ago

Amplifying Riboswitch Signal Output Using Cellular Wiring

Amplifying Riboswitch Signal Output Using Cellular Wiring
Nancy Kelley-Loughnane, Emily Briskin, Michael S. Goodson, Svetlana V. Harbaugh, Brenton R. Jennewine, Annastacia C. Bennett
If fieldable riboswitch-based biological sensors are to fulfill their potential, it is necessary to increase their signal output. Here we report a novel modular amplification system using a riboswitch to initiate signaling between a sensing strain and a reporter strain of E. coli. A quorum sensing signaling molecule biologically wires the sensing and reporter strains together. The amplification circuit increased the amount of fluorescence generated on ligand binding compared to when the riboswitch controlled fluorescence expression directly. This had the corollary effect of increasing the sensitivity of the system, and allowed riboswitch-based reporting in E. coli strains that did not produce a detectable output when the riboswitch directly controlled reporter expression. The amplification circuit also reduced the time required to detect a signal output. The modularity of this amplification system coupled with the achievable increases in output can advance the development of riboswitches and biological sensors.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acssynbio.6b00191

DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.6b00191

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