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Upgrading protein synthesis for synthetic biology

Genetic code expansion for synthesis of proteins containing noncanonical amino acids is a rapidly growing field in synthetic biology. Creating optimal orthogonal translation systems will require re-engineering central components of the protein synthesis machinery on the basis of a solid mechanistic biochemical understanding of the synthetic process.

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Figure 1: Engineering efficient OTSs.
Figure 2: Chemical diversity of amino acids in the standard and expanded genetic codes.
Figure 3: Reassignment of CUN codons in yeast mitochondria provides insight into sense codon recoding.


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We are grateful to M. Englert, I. Heinemann, F. Isaacs and J. Rinehart for inspired discussions. Work in the authors' laboratory was supported by the Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences and Biosciences, Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the US Department of Energy (DE-FG02-98ER20311); the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (GM22854); DARPA contracts N66001-12-C-4020 and N66001-12-C-4211; and by the National Science Foundation (MCB-0950474).

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Correspondence to Dieter Söll.

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O'Donoghue, P., Ling, J., Wang, YS. et al. Upgrading protein synthesis for synthetic biology. Nat Chem Biol 9, 594–598 (2013).

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