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  1. Abstract

    Genome editing technologies introduce targeted chromosomal modifications in organisms yet are constrained by the inability to selectively modify repetitive genetic elements. Here we describe filtered editing, a genome editing method that embeds group 1 self-splicing introns into repetitive genetic elements to construct unique genetic addresses that can be selectively modified. We introduce intron-containing ribosomes into theE. coligenome and perform targeted modifications of these ribosomes using CRISPR/Cas9 and multiplex automated genome engineering. Self-splicing of introns post-transcription yields scarless RNA molecules, generating a complex library of targeted combinatorial variants. We use filtered editing to co-evolve the 16S rRNA to tune the ribosome’s translational efficiency and the 23S rRNA to isolate antibiotic-resistant ribosome variants without interfering with native translation. This work sets the stage to engineer mutant ribosomes that polymerize abiological monomers with diverse chemistries and expands the scope of genome engineering for precise editing and evolution of repetitive DNA sequences.

  2. ABSTRACT Biomolecular structure drives function, and computational capabilities have progressed such that the prediction and computational design of biomolecular structures is increasingly feasible. Because computational biophysics attracts students from many different backgrounds and with different levels of resources, teaching the subject can be challenging. One strategy to teach diverse learners is with interactive multimedia material that promotes self-paced, active learning. We have created a hands-on education strategy with a set of 16 modules that teach topics in biomolecular structure and design, from fundamentals of conformational sampling and energy evaluation to applications, such as protein docking, antibody design, and RNA structure prediction. Our modules are based on PyRosetta, a Python library that encapsulates all computational modules and methods in the Rosetta software package. The workshop-style modules are implemented as Jupyter Notebooks that can be executed in the Google Colaboratory, allowing learners access with just a Web browser. The digital format of Jupyter Notebooks allows us to embed images, molecular visualization movies, and interactive coding exercises. This multimodal approach may better reach students from different disciplines and experience levels, as well as attract more researchers from smaller labs and cognate backgrounds to leverage PyRosetta in science and engineering research. All materials aremore »freely available at« less
  3. Transfer RNA (tRNA) is a dynamic molecule used by all forms of life as a key component of the translation apparatus. Each tRNA is highly processed, structured, and modified, to accurately deliver amino acids to the ribosome for protein synthesis. The tRNA molecule is a critical component in synthetic biology methods for the synthesis of proteins designed to contain non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs). The multiple interactions and maturation requirements of a tRNA pose engineering challenges, but also offer tunable features. Major advances in the field of genetic code expansion have repeatedly demonstrated the central importance of suppressor tRNAs for efficient incorporation of ncAAs. Here we review the current status of two fundamentally different translation systems (TSs), selenocysteine (Sec)- and pyrrolysine (Pyl)-TSs. Idiosyncratic requirements of each of these TSs mandate how their tRNAs are adapted and dictate the techniques used to select or identify the best synthetic variants.