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Nat Chem Biol. 2014 Mar;10(3):178-80. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1450. Epub 2014 Feb 2.

Bacteriophages use an expanded genetic code on evolutionary paths to higher fitness.

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  • 1Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA.

Abstract

Bioengineering advances have made it possible to fundamentally alter the genetic codes of organisms. However, the evolutionary consequences of expanding an organism's genetic code with a noncanonical amino acid are poorly understood. Here we show that bacteriophages evolved on a host that incorporates 3-iodotyrosine at the amber stop codon acquire neutral and beneficial mutations to this new amino acid in their proteins, demonstrating that an expanded genetic code increases evolvability.

PMID:
24487692
PMCID:
PMC3932624
DOI:
10.1038/nchembio.1450
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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