Engineering and Characterizing Synthetic Protease Sensors and Switches

  • Viktor SteinEmail author
  • Kirill AlexandrovEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1596)


Proteases are finding an increasing number of applications as molecular tools and reporters in biotechnology and basic research. Proteases are also increasingly incorporated into synthetic genetic signaling circuits equipping cells with tailored new functions. In the majority of cases however, proteases are employed in constitutively active forms which limits their utility and application as molecular sensors. The following chapter provides a detailed experimental protocol for converting constitutively active proteases into regulated protease receptors. Such receptors can potentially sense, transduce, and amplify any molecular input, thereby opening up a range of new applications in basic research, biotechnology, and synthetic biology.

Key words

Protein switches Protein engineering Proteases Diagnostic reagents 



This work was funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project Grant DP1094080 to KA and in part by National Breast Cancer Foundation Innovator Grant. This research was also supported by Movember through Australia’s Prostate Cancer Foundation Research Program to KA and VS.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Molecular BiosciencesThe University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Fachbereich BiologieTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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