Addicting diverse bacteria to a noncanonical amino acid

January 18th, 2016 by Drew S Tack

Nature Chemical Biology 12, 138 (2016). doi:10.1038/nchembio.2002

Authors: Drew S Tack, Jared W Ellefson, Ross Thyer, Bo Wang, Jimmy Gollihar, Matthew T Forster & Andrew D Ellington

Engineered orthogonal translation systems have greatly enabled the expansion of the genetic code using noncanonical amino acids (NCAAs). However, the impact of NCAAs on organismal evolution remains unclear, in part because it is difficult to force the adoption of new genetic codes in organisms. By reengineering TEM-1 β-lactamase to be dependent on a NCAA, we maintained bacterial NCAA dependence for hundreds of generations without escape.