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Chem Biol. 2003 Nov;10(11):1043-50.

Encodamers: unnatural peptide oligomers encoded in RNA.

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  • 1Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 147-75, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Conventional display libraries are generally limited to the 20 naturally occurring amino acids. Here, we demonstrate that novel unnatural amide-linked oligomers can be constructed and encoded in an attached RNA for the purpose of mRNA display library design. To do this, we translated templates of various lengths in a protein synthesis system modified to promote sense codon suppression. Unnatural residues were escorted to the ribosome as chemically acylated tRNAs added to the translation mixture. Our experiments reveal that unnatural peptide oligomers ("encodamers") consisting of an N-substituted amino acid are readily generated as mRNA-peptide fusions with excellent stepwise efficiency. The N-substituted polyamides have strikingly improved proteolytic stability relative to their naturally encoded counterparts. Overall, our work indicates that the ribosome can be used as a synthesis platform to generate encoded combinatorial chemistry outside the universal genetic code.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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