5 years ago

In Vivo Structure–Activity Relationships and Optimization of an Unnatural Base Pair for Replication in a Semi-Synthetic Organism

In Vivo Structure–Activity Relationships and Optimization of an Unnatural Base Pair for Replication in a Semi-Synthetic Organism
Floyd E. Romesberg, Aaron W. Feldman
In an effort to expand the genetic alphabet and create semi-synthetic organisms (SSOs) that store and retrieve increased information, we have developed the unnatural base pairs (UBPs) dNaM and d5SICS or dTPT3 (dNaM-d5SICS and dNaM-dTPT3). The UBPs form based on hydrophobic and packing forces, as opposed to complementary hydrogen bonding, and while they are both retained within the in vivo environment of an Escherichia coli SSO, their development was based on structure–activity relationship (SAR) data generated in vitro. To address the likely possibility of different requirements of the in vivo environment, we screened 135 candidate UBPs for optimal performance in the SSO. Interestingly, we find that in vivo SARs differ from those collected in vitro, and most importantly, we identify four UBPs whose retention in the DNA of the SSO is higher than that of dNaM-dTPT3, which was previously the most promising UBP identified. The identification of these four UBPs further demonstrates that when optimized, hydrophobic and packing forces may be used to replace the complementary hydrogen bonding used by natural pairs and represents a significant advance in our continuing efforts to develop SSOs that store and retrieve more information than natural organisms.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jacs.7b03540

DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b03540

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