Electron micrograph of a group of bacteria coli bacteria It was magnified a hundred thousand times. Each roller is an individual. / Wikipedia

magazine Science A study is published this week showing the pioneering development of a synthetic strain of coli bacteria So that it is “virtually invincible” to viral infection.

With this, the authors showed that efficient production of proteins not found in nature is possible.


researchers from Medical Research Council Cambridge (UK), by genetic engineering, a artificial strain coli bacteria which contained many non-standard amino acids. In this way, they obtained synthetic bacteria Protected from viral infection.

CurrencyPublished this week in the magazine ScienceHe is one of the first to design proteins using multiple proteins rather than a single protein Unrecognized amino acids (ncAA), that is, hundreds of molecules that can be found in nature or in a laboratory but are not innately used by living organisms.

The authors genetically engineered a synthetic strain of E. coli that included several non-standard amino acids. In this way, they were able to protect the synthetic bacteria from viral infection.

“The ability to create proteins designed using multiple unnatural ‘building blocks’ will open myriad applications, ranging from developing New biological therapies Until biomaterials with innovative characteristics,” they write Delilah Jewel and Abhishek Chatterjee In a related article.

In order to understand each other, in nature biological systems are used تستخدم 64 codon Each is a chain of three nucleotides of DNA or RNA corresponding to a specific amino acid – to code for protein synthesis.

However, there are 64 different twins and there are only 20 Essential Amino Acids Or different natural types, so different codons specify the same amino acids. This is called degeneration genetic code.

Experts believe that removing some codons and transferring the RNAs they read from the genome, replacing them with ncAA amino acids, may allow the formation of synthetic cells with characteristics not found in biology, such as viral resistance and increase the biosynthesis of new proteins.

However, although hundreds of different ncAAs have been genetically encoded in various walks of life, the focus to date has been largely limited to incorporation of a single non-canonical amino acid into the peptide.

Bacteria are invincible against viral infections

.’s new job Science Shows how different types of ncAAs can be incorporated into proteins using a synthetic strain of سلالة coli bacteria. Thus, leading a team Jason Chen He removed the transfer RNA and released factor 1 and cells from this bacterium did not read many codons.

Therefore, since viruses depend on the ability of the host cell to read all the codes of the viral genome to replicate, cells of the host cell coli bacteria Edit became Complete resistance to a wide range of viruses.

The Cambridge specialists reassigned each of these codons to three different types of ncAAs and showed that “the efficient synthesis of tailored proteins is indeed feasible.”


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