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A general strategy for expanding polymerase function by droplet microfluidics

Description

Polymerases that synthesize artificial genetic polymers hold great promise for advancing future applications in synthetic biology. However, engineering natural polymerases to replicate unnatural genetic polymers is a challenging problem. Here

Polymerases that synthesize artificial genetic polymers hold great promise for advancing future applications in synthetic biology. However, engineering natural polymerases to replicate unnatural genetic polymers is a challenging problem. Here we present droplet-based optical polymerase sorting (DrOPS) as a general strategy for expanding polymerase function that employs an optical sensor to monitor polymerase activity inside the microenvironment of a uniform synthetic compartment generated by microfluidics. We validated this approach by performing a complete cycle of encapsulation, sorting and recovery on a doped library and observed an enrichment of ∼1,200-fold for a model engineered polymerase. We then applied our method to evolve a manganese-independent α-L-threofuranosyl nucleic acid (TNA) polymerase that functions with >99% template-copying fidelity. Based on our findings, we suggest that DrOPS is a versatile tool that could be used to evolve any polymerase function, where optical detection can be achieved by Watson–Crick base pairing.

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Date Created
  • 2016-04-05

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Development of a full-length human protein production pipeline

Description

There are many proteomic applications that require large collections of purified protein, but parallel production of large numbers of different proteins remains a very challenging task. To help meet the

There are many proteomic applications that require large collections of purified protein, but parallel production of large numbers of different proteins remains a very challenging task. To help meet the needs of the scientific community, we have developed a human protein production pipeline. Using high-throughput (HT) methods, we transferred the genes of 31 full-length proteins into three expression vectors, and expressed the collection as N-terminal HaloTag fusion proteins in Escherichia coli and two commercial cell-free (CF) systems, wheat germ extract (WGE) and HeLa cell extract (HCE). Expression was assessed by labeling the fusion proteins specifically and covalently with a fluorescent HaloTag ligand and detecting its fluorescence on a LabChip[superscript ®] GX microfluidic capillary gel electrophoresis instrument. This automated, HT assay provided both qualitative and quantitative assessment of recombinant protein. E. coli was only capable of expressing 20% of the test collection in the supernatant fraction with ≥20 μg yields, whereas CF systems had ≥83% success rates. We purified expressed proteins using an automated HaloTag purification method. We purified 20, 33, and 42% of the test collection from E. coli, WGE, and HCE, respectively, with yields ≥1 μg and ≥90% purity. Based on these observations, we have developed a triage strategy for producing full-length human proteins in these three expression systems.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-01