Tippmann Group Research is Published in PNAS
28 January 2011
The paper, entitled: Importance of single molecular determinants in the fidelity of expanded genetic codes, is on the role of fidelity in incorporating nonnatural amino acids is available online at the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, USA (doi:10.1073/pnas.1012276108). The project involved collaboration between the Cardiff Schools of Chemistry, Biosciences, and the Welsh School of Pharmacy. Specifically, the research investigated key aspects of expanded genetic codes. In these systems, researchers are able to coax many cell types into recoding a stop codon as a nonnatural amino acid. The paper addressed the characteristics of these systems that allow researchers to genetically encode nonnatural amino acids into proteins with competition from one of the natural 20 amino acids. The work is also relevant to the emerging field of synthetic biology. The paper is forward looking and directs a large body of activity designing artificially expanded genetic and protein systems. The paper also carries a take-away message for protein engineering experiments in general. Here, a central question asks how much neighbouring sequence space must be explored to have specific impacts on molecular phenotype. This question has been incompletely addressed in the literature, but is addressed here.