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

Thomas Gaj, Shannon J. Sirk, Carlos F. Barbas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Genome engineering
  • Protein engineering
  • Recombinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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