Site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids into escherichia coli recombinant protein: Methodology development and recent achievement

Sviatlana Smolskaya, Yaroslav A. Andreev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

More than two decades ago a general method to genetically encode noncanonical or unnatural amino acids (NAAs) with diverse physical, chemical, or biological properties in bacteria, yeast, animals and mammalian cells was developed. More than 200 NAAs have been incorporated into recombinant proteins by means of non-endogenous aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aa-RS)/tRNA pair, an orthogonal pair, that directs site-specific incorporation of NAA encoded by a unique codon. The most established method to genetically encode NAAs in Escherichia coli is based on the usage of the desired mutant of Methanocaldococcus janaschii tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (MjTyrRS) and cognate suppressor tRNA. The amber codon, the least-used stop codon in E. coli, assigns NAA. Until very recently the genetic code expansion technology suffered from a low yield of targeted proteins due to both incompatibilities of orthogonal pair with host cell translational machinery and the competition of suppressor tRNA with release factor (RF) for binding to nonsense codons. Here we describe the latest progress made to enhance nonsense suppression in E. coli with the emphasis on the improved expression vectors encoding for an orthogonal aa-RA/tRNA pair, enhancement of aa-RS and suppressor tRNA efficiency, the evolution of orthogonal EF-Tu and attempts to reduce the effect of RF1.

Original languageEnglish
Article number255
JournalBiomolecules
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Expanded genetic code
  • Noncanonical amino acids
  • Nonsense suppression
  • Orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aa-RS)/tRNA pair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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