Modular bioengineered kinase sensorsviascaffold protein-mediated split-luciferase complementation

Xiaolu Xu, Lenne J.M. Lemmens, Anniek den Hamer, Maarten Merkx, Christian Ottmann, Luc Brunsveld (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorylation is a key regulation event in cellular signaling. Sensing the underlying kinase activity is of crucial importance for its fundamental understanding and for drug development. For this, modular kinase activity sensing concepts are urgently needed. We engineered modular serine kinase sensors based on complementation of split NanoBiT luciferase on protein assembly platforms generated from the scaffold protein 14-3-3. The bioengineered platforms are modular and easy adaptable as exemplary shown using novel sensors for the kinases PKA, PKB, and CHK1. Two designs were conceptualized, both relying on binding of defined mono- or bivalent kinase recognition motifs to the 14-3-3 platform upon phosphorylation, resulting in reconstitution of active split-luciferase. Especially the design based on double phosphorylation and bivalent 14-3-3 binding exhibits high efficiency for signal amplification (>1000-fold) and sensitivity to specific kinases, including in cellular lysates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5532-5536
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Science
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2020


We gratefully acknowledge the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (Gravity Program 024.001.035 and Vici grant 016.150.366).

FundersFunder number
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek016.150.366, 024.001.035


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