CeBiTec Colloquium
Monday, March 27th 2017, 17 c.t.
G2-104, CeBiTec Building
Olga Schmidt and Christopher Whitford
iGEM Team Bielefeld-CeBiTec 2017
Translational incorporation of non-canonical amino acids
We have decided on an especially interesting but also very challenging project for this year‘s iGEM competition: Establishing a new iGEM toolkit for the translational incorporation of non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs) in E. coli. With their broad chemical and functional diversity, NCAAs provide a variety of promising applications including protein labeling, photoinhibition and -activation, structure analysis and specific protein interactions. The site-specific incorporation of these NCAAs requires the directed evolution of tRNA and aminoacyl tRNA synthetase pairs which in turn mediate the introduction of a NCAA for a certain codon. Next to the established reallocation of the amber stop codon and other codons with a relatively low occurrence, we are exploring the application of unnatural base pairs (UBPs) as an expansion of the genetic code. This ambitious approach promises an optimal orthogonality to the autologous translation apparatus and a high flexibility concerning the incorporation of multiple NCAAs. Recent publications indicate that a CRISPR/Cas9 mediated system could facilitate the retention of UBPs on expression vectors. We're hoping for a large attendance and are looking forward to your thoughts, suggestions and ideas to facilitate a successful implementation.