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Posts Tagged ‘chemical and biological engineering’


Cell Research News – What’s to Follow?

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Reporter

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Intelligence

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/08/26/larryhbern/Cell_Research_News_-_What’s_to_Follow?

 

Stem Cell Research ‘Holy Grail’ Uncovered, Thanks to Zebrafish

By Estel Grace Masangkay

With help from the zebrafish, a team of Australian researchers has uncovered how
hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) renew themselves.

HSCs refers to stem cells present in the blood and bone marrow that are used 
for  the replenishment of the body’s supply of blood and immune cells – 

  • in transplants for leukemia and myeloma.
  • Stem cells have the potential to transform into vital cells

    including muscle, bone, and blood vessels.

Understanding how HSCs form and renew themselves has potential application in the
treatment of

  • spinal cord injuries
  • degenerative disorders
  • diabetes.

Professor Peter Currie, of the Australian Regen Med Institute at Victoria’s Monash
University, led a research team to discover a crucial part of HSC’s development. Using 
a high-resolution microscopy, Prof. Curie’s team 

  • caught zebrafish embyonic SCs on film as they formed. 
  • the researchers were studying muscle mutations in the aquatic animal.

“Zebrafish make ESCs in exactly the same way as humans do, but their embryos and
larvae develop free living, but the larvae are both free swimming and transparent, so one could see every cell in the body forming, including ESCs,” explained Prof. Currie.

The researchers noticed in films that a

  •  ‘buddy cell’ came along to help the ESCs form.

Called endotome cells, 

  • they aided pre-ESCs to turn into ESCs.  

Prof. Currie said that endotome cells act as helper cells for pre-ESCs , 

  • helping them progress to become fully fledged stem cells.

The team not only

  • identified some of the cells and signals 
  • required for ESC formation, but also 
  • pinpointed the genes required 
  • for endotome formation in the first place.

The next step for the researchers is to 

  • locate the signals present in the endotome cells 
  • that trigger ESC formation in the embryo. 

This may provide clues for developing

  • specific blood cells on demand for blood-related disorders. 

Professor Currie also pointed out the discovery’s potential for 

  • correcting genetic defects in the cell and 
  • transplanting them back in the body to treat disorders.

The team’s work was published in the international journal Nature.

 

Jell-O Like Biomaterial Could Hold Key to Cancer Cell Destruction

by Estel Grace Masangkay

Scientists from Penn State University reported that a biomaterial made of tiny 
molecules was able to attract and destroy cancer cells.

Professor Yong Wang and bioengineering faculty at Penn State, built the 
tissue-like biomaterial to accomplish what chemotherapy could not –

  • kill every cancer cell without leaving
  • the possibility of a recurrence.

Prof. Wang and team built polymers 

  • from tiny molecules called monomers. They
  • then wove the polymers into 3D networks 

called hydrogels. Hydrogel is soft and flexible, 
like Jell-O, and it contains a lot of water, and

  • can be safely put into the body, unlike 

other implants that the body often tries 

  • to get rid of through the immune response.

“We want to make sure the materials we are using are compatible in the body.”

The researchers 

  • attached aptamers to the hydrogels, 
  • which release bio-chemical signal-only molecules 
  • that draw in cancer cells. 

Once attracted, the cancer cells are entrapped in the Jell-O-like substance. 

What happens next is 

  • an oligonucleotide binds to the protein-binding site of the aptamer 
  • and triggers the release of anticancer drugs at the proper time.

“Once we trap the cancer cells, we can deliver anticancer drugs 

  • to that specific location to kill them. 

This technique would help avoid the need for systemic medications that kill not only cancer cells, but normal cells as well. Systemic chemotherapy drugs

  • make patients devastatingly sick and possibly 
  • leave behind cancer cells to wreak havoc another day

If our new technique has any side effects at all, it would be only local side 
effects and not whole-body systemic side effects,” explained Prof. Wang.

The initial results of the research were published by Prof. Wang in the 
Journal of the American Chemical Society in 2012. Prof. Wang also shared 
the latest results of his work at the Society for Biomaterials Meeting &
 Exposition in April this year.

 

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Larry Bernstein, MD, FCAP

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/6-19-3014/larryhbern/Activation of Efficient and Multiple Site-specific Nonstandard Amino Acid Incorporation

 

Cell-free Protein Synthesis from a Release Factor 1 Deficient Escherichia coli Activates Efficient and Multiple Site-specific Nonstandard Amino Acid Incorporation

Seok Hoon Hong Ioanna Ntai §Adrian D. Haimovich #, Neil L. Kelleher §Farren J. Isaacs #, and Michael C. Jewett *

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering,Chemistry of Life Processes Institute, §Department of Chemistry, and Department of Molecular Biosciences,Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208,United States of America

Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, United States of America

# Systems Biology Institute, Yale University, West Haven, Connecticut 06516, United States of America

Member, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, United States of America

Institute of Bionanotechnology in Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, United States of America

ACS Synth. Biol.20143 (6), pp 398–409

DOI: 10.1021/sb400140t

Publication Date (Web): December 13, 2013

Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society

*Tel: +1 847 467 5007. Fax (+1) 847 491 3728. E-mail: m-jewett@northwestern.edu

Site-specific incorporation of nonstandard amino acids (NSAAs) into proteins

Site-specific incorporation of nonstandard amino acids (NSAAs) into proteins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Site-specific incorporation of nonstandard amino acids (NSAAs) into proteins enables the creation of biopolymers, proteins, and enzymes with new chemical properties, new structures, and new functions. To achieve this, amber (TAG codon) suppression has been widely applied. However, the suppression efficiency is limited due to the competition with translation termination by release factor 1 (RF1), which leads to truncated products. Recently, we constructed a genomically recoded Escherichia coli strain lacking RF1 where 13 occurrences of the amber stop codon have been reassigned to the synonymous TAA codon (rEc.E13.ΔprfA). Here, we assessed and characterized cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) in crude S30 cell lysates derived from this strain. We observed the synthesis of 190 ± 20 μg/mL of modified soluble superfolder green fluorescent protein (sfGFP) containing a single p-propargyloxy-l-phenylalanine (pPaF) or p-acetyl-l-phenylalanine. As compared to the parentrEc.E13 strain with RF1, this results in a modified sfGFP synthesis improvement of more than 250%. Beyond introducing a single NSAA, we further demonstrated benefits of CFPS from the RF1-deficient strains for incorporating pPaF at two- and five-sites per sfGFP protein. Finally, we compared our crude S30 extract system to the PURE translation system lacking RF1. We observed that our S30 extract based approach is more cost-effective and high yielding than the PURE translation system lacking RF1, 1000 times on a milligram protein produced/$ basis. Looking forward, using RF1-deficient strains for extract-based CFPS will aid in the synthesis of proteins and biopolymers with site-specifically incorporated NSAAs.

Keywords: 

cell-free protein synthesisPURE translationnonstandard amino acid;release factor 1genomically recoded organisms

 

 

 

 

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