De novo motif for kinase mediated signaling across the cell membrane

Rafe T. Petty, Milan Mrksich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The binding of a ligand to a cell-surface receptor represents a first step in transmitting extracellular information to the cell in order to activate downstream intracellular signaling events. This report describes the de novo engineering of cells with a transmembrane signal transduction motif that is developed from first principles. The signaling event is initiated with a polyvalent ligand that clusters an engineered receptor in the membrane. The receptor presents a cytosolic kinase substrate that undergoes autocatalytic phosphorylation when organized in a cluster, but not in the unclustered arrangement. The example described here may represent a motif that can be used in synthetic biology for the engineering of cells with novel circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-822
Number of pages7
JournalIntegrative Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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