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 Topologische Quantenchemie
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

nachricht Topological Quantum Chemistry
21.07.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemische Physik fester Stoffe

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>