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Synthetic alienation of microbial organisms by using genetic code engineering: why and how?
Citation key 167.2017 Kubyshkin0
Author Kubyshkin, V. and Budisa, N.
Year 2017
DOI 10.1002/biot.201600097
Journal Biotechnol. J. [highlighted by cover page]
Volume 12 (8),
Abstract The main goal of synthetic biology (SB) is the creation of biodiversity applicable for biotechnological needs, while xenobiology (XB) aims to expand the framework of natural chemistries with the non-natural building blocks in living cells to accomplish artificial biodiversity. Protein and proteome engineering, which overcome limitation of the canonical amino acid repertoire of 20 (+2) prescribed by the genetic code by using non-canonic amino acids (ncAAs), is one of the main focuses of XB research. Ideally, estranging the genetic code from its current form via systematic introduction of ncAAs should enable the development of bio-containment mechanisms in synthetic cells potentially endowing them with a “genetic firewall” i.e. orthogonality which prevents genetic information transfer to natural systems. Despite rapid progress over the past two decades, it is not yet possible to completely alienate an organism that would use and maintain different genetic code associations permanently. In order to engineer robust bio-contained life forms, the chemical logic behind the amino acid repertoire establishment should be considered. Starting from recent proposal of Hartman and Smith about the genetic code establishment in the RNA world, here the authors mapped possible biotechnological invasion points for engineering of bio-contained synthetic cells equipped with non-canonical functionalities.
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