Standard Article

Protein Expression by Expansion of the Genetic Code

Nucleic Acids

  1. Jason W. Chin1,
  2. Thomas J. Magliery2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200500044

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Chin, J. W. and Magliery, T. J. 2006. Protein Expression by Expansion of the Genetic Code. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK

  2. 2

    Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

Abstract

The Genetic Code consists of 64 three-base codons that code for 20 amino acids and three stop signals. Recent engineering of the cell's protein synthesis machinery has allowed unnatural amino acids to be encoded in the genetic code of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Importantly, the approaches discussed add unnatural amino acids to the genetic code, without detracting from the cell's ability to incorporate the common 20 amino acids into proteins. Here we discuss the intellectual and practical strategies that have been employed in the challenging, but ultimately successful expansion of the genetic code. We also discuss the emerging applications of expanded genetic codes in solving basic biological and biophysical problems and in creating a new synthetic biology.

Keywords:

  • Amber;
  • Amber-suppressor tRNA;
  • Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase (aaRS);
  • Codon;
  • Identity Element;
  • Library;
  • Orthogonal Pairs;
  • Selection;
  • tRNA;
  • Unnatural Amino Acids