Snifferomyces is a modular system, used in the detection of volatile compounds. It has in the membrane a G-protein–coupled receptor that can bind to a specific signal, once bound it then switches on a signaling machinery which transmits this information over the plasma membrane and through the cell to produce a Quantitative response in the form of fluorescence. Using the Snifferomyces, our aim is to develop a universal olfactory system which allows scientists to introduce olfactory receptors in yeast with minimal effort.
G-protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) are one of the most important classes of proteins in living organisms that allows transmission of a wide variety of signals over the cell membrane, between cells and over long distances in the human body, thus acting as both the gatekeepers and molecular messengers of the cell. The importance of these receptors is emphasized by the Nobel prize awarded in 2004 for the discoveries of "odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system" and in 2012 for "studies of G-protein–coupled receptors".
We wanted to use the Snifferomyces to address a real life challenge affecting several lives. Lack of diagnostic capacity has been a crucial barrier preventing an effective response to the challenges of Tuberculosis in low- and middle-income countries where, standard TB diagnostic tools that need to be used in a lab setting pose major barriers for screening due to the costs and time involved in the process. We aim to address this problem by constructing a diagnosis system for the presence of tuberculosis bacteria in the lungs via sensing of a chemical compound methyl nicotinate.
- Localization of a Niacin receptor into the membrane
- Activation of the Niacin receptor by the ligand niacin
- Activation of the reporter by the native ligand alpha pheromone
- Providing a platform to swap receptors, promoters and terminators more easy
- Prediction of a ligand-binding niche with the niacin receptor
- Prototype version of a yeast olfactory detector device: The Sniffer-o-meter
- Deterministic and stochastic simulations of pathway model
- Data fitting for deterministic pathway model
- To get public awareness we presented our project to a large audience by participating in several events like Llowlab (~20.000 people!) and the Floriade.
- Case study on implementing the snifferometer as diagnostic tool for tuberculosis in developing countries
- We collaborated with teams to educate, innovate and share knowledge!