Document Detail

Expanding the genetic code.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12120285     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The ability to incorporate unnatural amino acids into proteins directly in living cells will provide new tools to study protein and cellular function, and may generate proteins or even organisms with enhanced properties. Due to the limited promiscuity of some synthetases, natural amino acids can be substituted with close analogs at multiple sites using auxotrophic strains. Alternatively, this can be achieved by deactivating the editing function of some synthetases. The addition of new amino acids to the genetic code, however, requires additional components of the protein biosynthetic machinery including a novel tRNA-codon pair, an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, and an amino acid. This new set of components functions orthogonally to the counterparts of the common 20 amino acids, i.e., the orthogonal synthetase (and only this synthetase) aminoacylates the orthogonal tRNA (and only this tRNA) with the unnatural amino acid only, and the resulting acylated tRNA inserts the unnatural amino acid only in response to the unique codon. Using this strategy, the genetic code of Escherichia coli has been expanded to incorporate unnatural amino acids with a fidelity rivaling that of natural amino acids. This methodology is being applied to other cell types and unnatural analogs with a variety of functionalities.
Lei Wang; Peter G Schultz
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1359-7345     ISO Abbreviation:  Chem. Commun. (Camb.)     Publication Date:  2002 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-07-17     Completed Date:  2002-08-09     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9610838     Medline TA:  Chem Commun (Camb)     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1-11     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Bacterial Proteins / genetics
Escherichia coli / genetics
Genetic Code*
RNA, Bacterial / genetics
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Bacterial Proteins; 0/RNA, Bacterial

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