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 A Map of the Cell’s Power Station
18.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections
18.08.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>