A sensitive and specific genetically-encoded potassium ion biosensor for in vivo applications across the tree of life

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  • Sheng-Yi Wu
  • Yurong Wen
  • Nelson B C Serre
  • Cathrine Charlotte Heiede Laursen
  • Brian R Taylor
  • Mikhail Drobizhev
  • Rosana S Molina
  • Abhi Aggarwal
  • Vladimir Rancic
  • Michael Becker
  • Klaus Ballanyi
  • Kaspar Podgorski
  • Matyáš Fendrych
  • M Joanne Lemieux
  • Daniel F Eberl
  • Alan R Kay
  • Robert E Campbell
  • Yi Shen

Potassium ion (K+) plays a critical role as an essential electrolyte in all biological systems. Genetically-encoded fluorescent K+ biosensors are promising tools to further improve our understanding of K+-dependent processes under normal and pathological conditions. Here, we report the crystal structure of a previously reported genetically-encoded fluorescent K+ biosensor, GINKO1, in the K+-bound state. Using structure-guided optimization and directed evolution, we have engineered an improved K+ biosensor, designated GINKO2, with higher sensitivity and specificity. We have demonstrated the utility of GINKO2 for in vivo detection and imaging of K+ dynamics in multiple model organisms, including bacteria, plants, and mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3001772
JournalPLOS Biology
Issue number9
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Animals, Biosensing Techniques/methods, Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods, Ions, Mice, Potassium

ID: 329708023