Expanding the scope of site-specific recombinases for genetic and metabolic engineering

Biotechnol Bioeng. 2014 Jan;111(1):1-15. doi: 10.1002/bit.25096. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


Site-specific recombinases are tremendously valuable tools for basic research and genetic engineering. By promoting high-fidelity DNA modifications, site-specific recombination systems have empowered researchers with unprecedented control over diverse biological functions, enabling countless insights into cellular structure and function. The rigid target specificities of many sites-specific recombinases, however, have limited their adoption in fields that require highly flexible recognition abilities. As a result, intense effort has been directed toward altering the properties of site-specific recombination systems by protein engineering. Here, we review key developments in the rational design and directed molecular evolution of site-specific recombinases, highlighting the numerous applications of these enzymes across diverse fields of study.

Keywords: genome engineering; protein engineering; recombinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Genetic Engineering*
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Engineering*
  • Mice
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Recombinases*


  • Recombinases