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Scientists at Scripps and Synthorx produced a modified E. coli that uses DNA comprised of 6 bases (the 4 natural bases A, C, G, and T plus two synthetic bases dubbed X and Y) to produce proteins containing non-natural amino acids. "In the current paper, the scientists used the semi-synthetic organism to create a variant of green fluorescent protein (GFP) with non-natural amino acids incorporated at specific sites. The semi-synthetic organism was able to robustly produce the full-length variant protein with an efficiency similar to that with which the natural protein is produced." It is thought that the broader choice of amino acids will make it possible to design protein therapeutics that avoid some of the problems associated with standard proteins.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons