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  • Protease-controlled secretion and display of intercellular signals. Nature communications Vlahos, A. E., Kang, J., Aldrete, C. A., Zhu, R., Chong, L. S., Elowitz, M. B., Gao, X. J. 2022; 13 (1): 912


    To program intercellular communication for biomedicine, it is crucial to regulate the secretion and surface display of signaling proteins. If such regulations are at the protein level, there are additional advantages, including compact delivery and direct interactions with endogenous signaling pathways. Here we create a modular, generalizable design called Retained Endoplasmic Cleavable Secretion (RELEASE), with engineered proteins retained in the endoplasmic reticulum and displayed/secreted in response to specific proteases. The design allows functional regulation of multiple synthetic and natural proteins by synthetic protease circuits to realize diverse signal processing capabilities, including logic operation and threshold tuning. By linking RELEASE to additional sensing and processing circuits, we can achieve elevated protein secretion in response to "undruggable" oncogene KRAS mutants. RELEASE should enable the local, programmable delivery of intercellular cues for a broad variety of fields such as neurobiology, cancer immunotherapy and cell transplantation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-28623-y

    View details for PubMedID 35177637