The Receptor Open Community Kit, or RocKit, takes an innovative new approach to synthesizing customised cell surface receptors. The RocKit provides scientists with both a tool to create receptors for any target molecule that they choose, and a platform to easily share their results. RocKit users can upload the sequence and structure information of their customized receptors in the RocCloud, a cloud database containing information about all the receptors made with the RocKit.

The RocKit is easy to use and contains all the cells and reagents needed to successfully use the technology. Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast cells have been engineered to include the genetic circuit responsible for producing the receptors inside their genome. To create the desired receptor, simply grow the cells in the provided RocGrow medium together with the target molecule and wait until a bioluminescent signal reports the successful creation of the receptor!

An artificial evolution approach is used to induce random mutations at the binding site of a base receptor until it evolves an affinity for the specific target molecule of choice. When the receptor is activated, the mutations stop and a colour is produced to indicate success. The base receptor is designed for easy extraction for sequencing, enabling amplification of the sequence for use in experimentation.

After extraction, all receptor sequences can be uploaded to the RocCloud to facilitate an open, information-sharing scientific community.