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Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Apr 23;2018:7607463. doi: 10.1155/2018/7607463. eCollection 2018.

Genetic Code Expansion: A Powerful Tool for Understanding the Physiological Consequences of Oxidative Stress Protein Modifications.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, 2011 Agriculture and Life Sciences Building, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


Posttranslational modifications resulting from oxidation of proteins (Ox-PTMs) are present intracellularly under conditions of oxidative stress as well as basal conditions. In the past, these modifications were thought to be generic protein damage, but it has become increasingly clear that Ox-PTMs can have specific physiological effects. It is an arduous task to distinguish between the two cases, as multiple Ox-PTMs occur simultaneously on the same protein, convoluting analysis. Genetic code expansion (GCE) has emerged as a powerful tool to overcome this challenge as it allows for the site-specific incorporation of an Ox-PTM into translated protein. The resulting homogeneously modified protein products can then be rigorously characterized for the effects of individual Ox-PTMs. We outline the strengths and weaknesses of GCE as they relate to the field of oxidative stress and Ox-PTMs. An overview of the Ox-PTMs that have been genetically encoded and applications of GCE to the study of Ox-PTMs, including antibody validation and therapeutic development, is described.

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