BN seminar Anthony Forster (Uppsala): Protein Synthesis, Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery





Kronigzaal, Delft


BN Seminar

Protein Synthesis, Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery

Prof. Anthony C. Forster, MD, PhD

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden

We have developed a simplified, purified, bacterial translation system to facilitate studies of substrate recognition in protein synthesis and enable new applications. One application is directed evolution in vitro of small-molecule, peptidomimetic drug candidates by redesigning the genetic code for the synthesis and display of polymers containing unnatural amino acids. This technology was recently commercialized by two start-up biotech companies (Ra Pharmaceuticals Inc. and PeptiDream Inc.). Another application is construction of scalable, purified, in vitro translation systems. This is proceeding by “BioBrick” construction in E. coli using orthogonal replication, promoter and terminator parts. A long-term goal is achieving better understanding and manipulation of biological replication by reconstituting it completely in vitro. Of the 151 genes postulated to be necessary for self-replication from small molecules (synthetic life), protein synthesis constitutes 96%.