Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UB Scientists Report Fast, Simple Method of Generating "Designer" RNA Catalysts for Proteomics

01.07.2002


Artificial "Sugazyme" catalyzes synthesis of novel proteins with special features

University at Buffalo chemists have developed a remarkably simple and effective biotechnological method for synthesis of novel proteins using amino acids that do not occur in nature by using unique, programmable ribozymes (enzymes made of RNA, or ribonucleic acid) that they evolved in the lab.

The technology, described in the July issue of Nature Biotechnology, provides a potentially important new tool in the field of proteomics, where scientists are working to understand all of the proteins that have been identified through the human genome project.



A related technology was described in a paper published by the researchers in the June 19 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The researchers, from the Department of Chemistry in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, are discussing a research and licensing agreement with a company interested in commercializing the technology, for which UB has filed patents.

According to the UB chemists, scientists have been interested in efficiently harnessing the ability to attach unnatural amino acids to proteins since the first demonstration that it could be done, in 1987. Existing methods for doing so have been too complicated and too expensive for routine use in the laboratory.

Named after lead researcher Hiroaki Suga, UB assistant professor of chemistry, the programmable "Sugazyme" provides an efficient and economic shortcut to attachment of tRNA to unnatural amino acids.

The UB method generates the first artificial ribozyme that performs two unique steps that lead to the generation of novel proteins.

First, the Sugazyme is programmed to recognize an engineered (i.e. unnatural) tRNA, as well as various unnatural amino acids. Second, it then operates as a chemical matchmaker, joining the two to create the aminoacylated tRNA, the essential molecule for linking the genetic

code to amino acids, triggering protein synthesis.

"Our system has the potential to provide a simple method for the preparation of such aminoacyl-tRNAs for researchers who want to expand the amino-acid repertoire for protein synthesis," said Suga.

The advantage of using so-called unnatural or non-natural amino acids designed in the lab is that they can be tailored with special functions that are not available in natural amino acids and that will aid researchers working in proteomics.

"In the Nature Biotechnology paper, we demonstrate that we have evolved a ribozyme that has a programmable feature for recognition of any desired tRNAs and that it can charge non-natural amino acids on the specific tRNA," explained Suga, co-author with Yoshitaka Bessho and David R.W. Hodgson, both post-doctoral fellows in the UB Department of Chemistry.

A related technology for engineering similar "designer catalysts" developed by the group and described in detail in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, consists of a few simple steps: The scientists immobilize the ribozyme on an inexpensive gel, pack the resin into a column, add the amino acid and tRNA and shake it for about half an hour.

"When the resin is washed off, what’s left is the aminoacyl-tRNA with the immobilized ribozyme," said Suga. "The desired aminoacyl-tRNA can then be isolated. It’s a very durable and convenient system."

In the lab, the UB researchers have demonstrated that the system also is economical and able to be reused numerous times.

Suga’s co-authors on the paper in the Journal of the American Chemical Society are Hiroshi Murakami, post-doctoral fellow and Neil J. Bonzagni, doctoral candidate, both in the UB Department of Chemistry.

The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Human Frontier Science Program.

Ellen Goldbaum | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>