Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.306, No.3, 774-780, 2003
Chemical complementation: small-molecule-based genetic selection in yeast
Protein and metabolic engineering would greatly benefit from a general system linking the presence of a small molecule to the power of genetic selection. We use nuclear receptors to link the survival of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to the presence of small molecules through genetic selection, extending classical genetic complementation to a new "chemical complementation." In this system the Ga14 DNA-binding domain is fused to ligand-binding domains from two nuclear receptors, expressed in the strain PJ69-4A, and grown on plates containing known ligands for the receptors. Yeast survive on selective plates only in the presence of a nuclear receptor and the corresponding ligand. Mutagenesis can increase the sensitivity of chemical complementation. This system may be extended to engineer nuclear receptors for practically any small molecule through directed evolution coupled to genetic selection, and for performing metabolic engineering in yeast. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.