Problems with Synthetic Biology?

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    • #16472

      What problems could the need for correct post translational modification have for synthetic biology? For example, I am particularly thinking of glycosylation events and carbohydrates, which have been described as nature’s third alphabet akin to nucleotides and amino acids. There are known examples of where aberrant glycosylation can be induced onto certain proteins. The proteins themselves fold correctly and still function. At the cellular level, cells still appear to function normally, but if you try to induce this same aberrant glycosylation event at the organismal level, it is embryologically lethal.

      So back to my question, what problems could post translational modifications pose for synthetic biology? If you introduce unnatural genes to be expressed in say e. coli, does ecoli even contain the proper machinery to properly post translationally modify unnatural proteins so that they still have the right function? Glycosylation can’t be controlled since it isn’t template driven. Thanks for any discussion.

    • #111000

      No, E.coli does not contain machinery for posttranslational modifications, so if you need some, you have to use another host.

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