The constituents of the oncogene signal transduction pathway are promising targets for anticancer drugs. Despite the wealth of available knowledge regarding their molecular properties, the spatiotemporal regulation of the signaling molecules remains elusive. Biosensors based on the principle of FRET have been developed to visualize the activities of the signaling molecules in living cells. However, difficulties in the development of sensitive FRET biosensors have prevented their widespread use in cancer research. The lack of cell lines constitutively expressing a FRET biosensor has also limited their use. In this review, we will introduce the principle of FRET-based biosensors, describe an optimized backbone of the FRET biosensors, techniques to express FRET biosensors stably in the cells, and discuss the future perspectives of FRET biosensors in cancer research.
© 2011 Japanese Cancer Association.