Reference: Gubbens J, et al. (2010) In vitro incorporation of nonnatural amino acids into protein using tRNACys-derived opal, ochre, and amber suppressor tRNAs. RNA 16(8):1660-72

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Abstract


Amber suppressor tRNAs are widely used to incorporate nonnatural amino acids into proteins to serve as probes of structure, environment, and function. The utility of this approach would be greatly enhanced if multiple probes could be simultaneously incorporated at different locations in the same protein without other modifications. Toward this end, we have developed amber, opal, and ochre suppressor tRNAs derived from Escherichia coli, and yeast tRNA(Cys) that incorporate a chemically modified cysteine residue with high selectivity at the cognate UAG, UGA, and UAA stop codons in an in vitro translation system. These synthetic tRNAs were aminoacylated in vitro, and the labile aminoacyl bond was stabilized by covalently attaching a fluorescent dye to the cysteine sulfhydryl group. Readthough efficiency (amber > opal > ochre) was substantially improved by eRF1/eRF3 inhibition with an RNA aptamer, thus overcoming an intrinsic hierarchy in stop codon selection that limits UGA and UAA termination suppression in higher eukaryotic translation systems. This approach now allows concurrent incorporation of two different modified amino acids at amber and opal codons with a combined apparent readthrough efficiency of up to 25% when compared with the parent protein lacking a stop codon. As such, it significantly expands the possibilities for incorporating nonnative amino acids for protein structure/function studies.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Gubbens J, Kim SJ, Yang Z, Johnson AE, Skach WR
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