HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Doing nature one better: Expanding the genetic code in living mammalian cells

La Jolla, CA Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have developed a novel strategy to expand the natural repertoire of 20 amino acids in mammalian cells, including neurons, and successfully inserted tailor-made amino acids into proteins in these cells. In a powerful demonstration of the methods versatility, they then used unnatural amino acids to determine the operating mechanism of the molecular gates that regulate the movement of potassium ions in and out of nerve cells.

In the past, this type of engineering has been mainly restricted to bacteria or in yeast, and it was very challenging to efficiently incorporate unnatural amino acids in mammalian cells. But most biomedical questions have to be studied in the cells of higher organisms and animal models to arrive at meaningful answers, explains Lei Wang, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Chemical Biology and Proteomics Laboratory, who led the current study published in the July issue of Nature Neuroscience.

The genetic code, which is shared by plants, animals and bacteria, includes 64 codons encoding 20 different amino acids and three stop signals. Being able to expand the code and insert non-natural amino not only greatly enhances researchers' ability and precision, but also provides novel tools for addressing challenging questions insurmountable with conventional means.

We had tried using conventional mutagenesis to introduce mutations into the potassium channel but it didnt give us any answers, says Paul A. Slesinger, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Peptide Biology Laboratory, who collaborated with Wang on the current study. Being able to incorporate bulky unnatural amino acids into living mammalian cells really made all the difference, he adds.

During his graduate studies, Wang pioneered a method to accommodate additional amino acids in bacteria. His approach mimicked the strategy every cell relies on to incorporate conventional amino acids
'"/>

Contact: Gina Kirchweger
kirchweger@salk.edu
858-453-4100, ext. 1340
Salk Institute
1-Jul-2007


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Doing it right: New book helps biologists conduct rigorous and reliable research
2. Ecologists work to link kids with nature
3. In nature, proteins sweep up nanoparticles
4. Pesticides choke pathway for nature to produce nitrogen for crops
5. Genomic signatures identify targeted therapies for lung cancer
6. Life-long learning -- nature provides natural inspiration for education
7. New synthetic self-assembling macromolecules mimic nature
8. Researchers untangle nature of regressive evolution in cavefish
9. DNA gives new perspectives to understand the mysteries of nature
10. Manipulating nature: Scientists query wildlife birth-control method
11. Beyond the DNA: Chemical signatures reveal genetic switches in the genome

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/19/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and ... and monitoring, announced today that it has offered a ... independent technology judge determine who has the largest and ... calling platform, and the best customer service. ... what we do – which clearly is not the ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... The global bioinformatics market ... 6.21 Billion in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 21.1% during ... is driven by the growing demand for nucleic acid and protein ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures high alignment accuracy ... cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is required, such as ...
(Date:11/30/2016)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science has ... available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged human ... structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the Coriell ... a crucial first step toward visualizing the dynamic ... human cells healthy and what goes wrong in ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... GREENWICH, Connecticut , November 30, 2016 ...   ... Aptuit, LLC today announced ... screening library. An additional 150,000 novel compounds have increased the ... selected to broaden the hit discovery capabilities of the company. ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... Chemistry (IUPAC) approved the names and symbols for four elements: nihonium (Nh), moscovium ... , Following a 5-month period of public review, the names earlier proposed by the ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: