Development of a highly specific and sensitive cadmium and lead microbial biosensor using synthetic CadC-T7 genetic circuitry

Hyun Ju Kim, Ji Won Lim, Haeyoung Jeong, Sang Jae Lee, Dong Woo Lee, Taesung Kim, Sang Jun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple copies of a cadC homolog encoding a heavy metal-responsive transcription factor were found in the genome of a bacterium isolated from ocean sediment, and the heavy metal responses of the encoded proteins were characterized using a fluorescence reporter assay. Each CadC regulator exhibited distinct specificity in response to heavy metal ions, indicating their potential use as modular heavy metal biosensors. Next, we constructed CadC-controlled T7 RNA transcription systems for intracellular signal amplification, i.e., higher sensitivity. Flow cytometry revealed that cadmium and lead ions could be recognized specifically by CadC-T7 biosensors, which could be combined with a microfluidic platform to generate heavy metal biosensor devices with increased sensitivity. Our results demonstrate the successful development of synthetic CadC-T7 genetic circuitry for use in improved heavy metal biosensor microfluidic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-708
Number of pages8
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry

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