Sensing new chemicals with bacterial transcription factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Vincent Libis
  • Baudoin Delépine
  • Jean-Loup Faulon


Bacteria rely on allosteric transcription factors (aTFs) to sense a wide range of chemicals. The variety of effectors has contributed in making aTFs the most used input system in synthetic biological circuits. Considering their enabling role in biotechnology, an important question concerns the size of the chemical space that can potentially be detected by these biosensors. From digging into the ever changing repertoire of natural regulatory circuits, to advances in aTF engineering, we review here different strategies that are pushing the boundaries of this chemical space. We also review natural and synthetic cases of indirect sensing, where aTFs work in combination with metabolism to enable detection of new molecules.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-112
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Microbiology
Early online dateJul 2016
StatePublished - Oct 2016