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:
(Date:10/19/2014)... access in India over the last 30 years ... emissions growth during that time, according to a ... Climate Change ., "Energy access is fundamental to ... life, including education, communication, and health," says IIASA ... While increased energy access is widely agreed to ...
(Date:10/18/2014)... patients referred for evaluation of suspected genetic conditions, ... 25 percent, including detection of a number of ... disease, according to a study appearing in ... coincide with the American Society of Human Genetics ... or coding regions of thousands of genes simultaneously ...
(Date:10/17/2014)... – Accurate knowledge regarding Ebola is critical and pertinent ... of hazardous global outbreak and epidemic. The Journal, ... a special issue, Ebola Virus and Public Health, to ... knowledge in this critical societal moment. , On ... Ebola for Clinicians . The primer was prepared by ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Improved electricity access has little impact on climate change 2Whole-exome sequencing shows potential as diagnostic tool 2
(Date:10/22/2014)... (PRWEB) October 22, 2014 Involution ... the release of a new infographic, Understanding Ebola ... create a beautifully designed, easy to follow informative tool ... areas of outbreak, symptoms and prevention. , "As the ... that the 2014 Ebola outbreak represents not only a ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... Rock Hill, SC (PRWEB) October 22, 2014 ... the expansion of its cardiovascular pharmacogenetics menu, which ... improved patient outcomes. With PCLS’s evidence-based results, ... individual needs and optimize their therapy, while minimizing ... , In the U.S., according to the FDA ...
(Date:10/22/2014)... 2014 Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX) – According ... worldwide are living with diabetes, with  that number expected ... global market for diabetes treatments is approximately $500 billion.  ... died from pancreatic cancer.  Pancreatic cancer is the fourth ... the United States , and according ...
(Date:10/20/2014)... YORK , Oct. 20, 2014 ... their experimental ZMapp™ antibody therapeutic to fight the ... how difficult and time-consuming the production of pharmaceuticals ... market research publisher said that while some may ... of this compound, those with industry knowledge are ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Involution Studios' Ebola Infographic Provides Key Disease Information and Statistics at a Glance 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 2PCLS Announces Expansion of Cardiovascular Pharmacogenetic Testing Menu 3Nuvilex Brief Analyst Report: Thinking Outside the Box by BrokerBank Securities, Inc. 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 2Kalorama: ZMapp Highlights Need For Faster Biopharmaceutical Production 3
Cached News: