Efficient and sequence-independent replication of DNA containing a third base pair establishes a functional six-letter genetic alphabet.

Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 07/2012; 109(30):12005-10. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1205176109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The natural four-letter genetic alphabet, comprised of just two base pairs (dA-dT and dG-dC), is conserved throughout all life, and its expansion by the development of a third, unnatural base pair has emerged as a central goal of chemical and synthetic biology. We recently developed a class of candidate unnatural base pairs, exemplified by the pair formed between d5SICS and dNaM. Here, we examine the PCR amplification of DNA containing one or more d5SICS-dNaM pairs in a wide variety of sequence contexts. Under standard conditions, we show that this DNA may be amplified with high efficiency and greater than 99.9% fidelity. To more rigorously explore potential sequence effects, we used deep sequencing to characterize a library of templates containing the unnatural base pair as a function of amplification. We found that the unnatural base pair is efficiently replicated with high fidelity in virtually all sequence contexts. The results show that, for PCR and PCR-based applications, d5SICS-dNaM is functionally equivalent to a natural base pair, and when combined with dA-dT and dG-dC, it provides a fully functional six-letter genetic alphabet.

Download full-text


Available from: Phillip Ordoukhanian, Jun 21, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or "living devices." As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 01/2013; 4:5. DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2013.00005 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rearranging hydrogen bonding groups adds nucleobases to an artificially expanded genetic information system (AEGIS), pairing orthogonally to standard nucleotides. We report here a large-scale synthesis of the AEGIS nucleotide carrying 2-amino-3-nitropyridin-6-one (trivially Z) via Heck coupling and a hydroboration/oxidation sequence. RiboZ is more stable against epimerization than its 2′-deoxyribo analogue. Further, T7 RNA polymerase incorporates ZTP opposite its Watson–Crick complement, imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazin-4(8H)one (trivially P), laying grounds for using this “second-generation” AEGIS Z:P pair to add amino acids encoded by mRNA.
    The Journal of Organic Chemistry 03/2014; 79(7). DOI:10.1021/jo402665d · 4.64 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: High-throughput sequencing, also known as next-generation sequencing (NGS), has revolutionized genomic research. In recent years, NGS technology has steadily improved, with costs dropping and the number and range of sequencing applications increasing exponentially. Here, we examine the critical role of sequencing library quality and consider important challenges when preparing NGS libraries from DNA and RNA sources. Factors such as the quantity and physical characteristics of the RNA or DNA source material as well as the desired application (i.e., genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, RIP-seq, and methylation) are addressed in the context of preparing high quality sequencing libraries. In addition, the current methods for preparing NGS libraries from single cells are also discussed.
    BioTechniques 02/2014; 56(2):61-77. DOI:10.2144/000114133 · 2.75 Impact Factor