Tailor-made transcriptional biosensors for optimizing microbial cell factories

Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology
Brecht De PaepeMarjan De Mey


Monitoring cellular behavior and eventually properly adapting cellular processes is key to handle the enormous complexity of today's metabolic engineering questions. Hence, transcriptional biosensors bear the potential to augment and accelerate current metabolic engineering strategies, catalyzing vital advances in industrial biotechnology. The development of such transcriptional biosensors typically starts with exploring nature's richness. Hence, in a first part, the transcriptional biosensor architecture and the various modi operandi are briefly discussed, as well as experimental and computational methods and relevant ontologies to search for natural transcription factors and their corresponding binding sites. In the second part of this review, various engineering approaches are reviewed to tune the main characteristics of these (natural) transcriptional biosensors, i.e., the response curve and ligand specificity, in view of specific industrial biotechnology applications, which is illustrated using success stories of transcriptional biosensor engineering.


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