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Functional replacement of the endogenous tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase-tRNATyr pair by the archaeal tyrosine pair in Escherichia coli for genetic code expansion.

Iraha F., Oki K., Kobayashi T., Ohno S., Yokogawa T., Nishikawa K., Yokoyama S., Sakamoto K.

Non-natural amino acids have been genetically encoded in living cells, using aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase-tRNA pairs orthogonal to the host translation system. In the present study, we engineered Escherichia coli cells with a translation system orthogonal to the E. coli tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (TyrRS)-tRNA(Tyr) pair, to use E. coli TyrRS variants for non-natural amino acids in the cells without interfering with tyrosine incorporation. We showed that the E. coli TyrRS-tRNA(Tyr) pair can be functionally replaced by the Methanocaldococcus jannaschii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae tyrosine pairs, which do not cross-react with E. coli TyrRS or tRNA(Tyr). The endogenous TyrRS and tRNA(Tyr) genes were then removed from the chromosome of the E. coli cells expressing the archaeal TyrRS-tRNA(Tyr) pair. In this engineered strain, 3-iodo-L-tyrosine and 3-azido-L-tyrosine were each successfully encoded with the amber codon, using the E. coli amber suppressor tRNATyr and a TyrRS variant, which was previously developed for 3-iodo-L-tyrosine and was also found to recognize 3-azido-L-tyrosine. The structural basis for the 3-azido-L-tyrosine recognition was revealed by X-ray crystallography. The present engineering allows E. coli TyrRS variants for non-natural amino acids to be developed in E. coli, for use in both eukaryotic and bacterial cells for genetic code expansion.

Nucleic Acids Res. 38:3682-3691(2010) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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