Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Plant hormone sensors as scaffolds for biosensor design

Most plant hormone sensors, including the abscisic acid receptor PYR1, function through chemically induced dimerization. Using computationally designed libraries of PYR1, we created high-affinity receptors for 21 structurally diverse ligands, setting the stage for large-scale small-molecule biosensor development

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: PYR1-based biosensors.


  1. Taylor, N. D. et al. Engineering an allosteric transcription factor to respond to new ligands. Nat. Methods 13, 177–183 (2016). A research article that combines computational design and genetic selections to develop allosteric transcription factors responsive to non-native ligands.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Urban, D. J. & Roth, B. L. DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs): chemogenetic tools with therapeutic utility. Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 55, 399–417 (2015). A review article that summarizes the many successes in engineering G-protein-coupled receptors to respond to new ligands.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Glasgow, A. A. et al. Computational design of a modular protein sense–response system. Science 366, 1024–1028 (2019). A research article that uses computational design to design new CID modules for ligand recognition.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Stanton, B. Z., Chory, E. J. & Crabtree, G. R. Chemically induced proximity in biology and medicine. Science 359, eaao5902 (2018). A review article that summarizes CID systems.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Park, S.-Y. et al. Agrochemical control of plant water use using engineered abscisic acid receptors. Nature 520, 545–548 (2015). A research article that demonstrates that the plant abscisic acid receptor PYR1 can be reprogrammed to bind new ligands and agrochemically manipulate plant water use.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

This is a summary of: Beltrán, J. et al. Rapid biosensor development using plant hormone receptors as reprogrammable scaffolds. Nat. Biotechnol. (2022).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Plant hormone sensors as scaffolds for biosensor design. Nat Biotechnol (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing