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Chem Biol. 2007 Dec;14(12):1315-22.

Synthesis of polyester by means of genetic code reprogramming.

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Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 113-8656 Tokyo, Japan.


Here we report the ribosomal polymerization of alpha-hydroxy acids by means of genetic code reprogramming. The flexizyme system, a ribozyme-based tRNA acylation tool, was used to re-assign individual codons to seven types of alpha-hydroxy acids, and then polyesters were synthesized under controls of the reprogrammed genetic code using a reconstituted cell-free translation system. The sequence and length of the polyester segments were specified by the mRNA template, indicating that high-fidelity ribosome expression of polyesters was possible. This work opens a door for the mRNA-directed synthesis of backbone-altered biopolymers.

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