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The aim of the work is to exploit the yeast pheromone system for controlled cell–cell communication and as an amplification circuit in technical applications, e.g. biosensors or sensor-actor systems.As a proof of principle, we developed recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in response to different concentrations of the alpha (α)-factor mating pheromone. A respective reporter construct allowing the pheromone-driven expression of EGFP was transformed into the S. cerevisiae strains BY4741 and BY4741 bar1Δ. Upon addition of synthetic α-factor, the fluorescence strongly increases after 4 h. Furthermore, cells with constitutive α-factor expression were able to induce the expression of EGFP in co-cultivation with sensor cells only if both cell types were deleted for the gene BAR1, encoding α-factor protease. For technical applications, the immobilization of functionalized cells may be beneficial. We show that pheromone-induced expression of EGFP is effective in alginate-immobilized cells.Based on S. cerevisiaeα-factor, we developed a controlled cell–cell communication system and amplification circuit for pheromone-driven expression of a target protein. The system is effective both in suspension and after cell immobilization.The developed set of recombinant yeast strains is the basis to apply the yeast pheromone system for signal production and amplification in biosensors or sensor-actor systems.