Led by C-GEM graduate student Amos Nissley in the Cate Lab, this paper describes chimeric ribosomes that incorporate sequences from certain hyperthermophilic Archaea into the E. coli ribosome. These chimeric ribosomes showed higher thermotolerance than the E. coli ribosome with no change in structure. Additionally, the chimeric ribosomes are more robust than the E. coli ribosome to nucleotide substitutions in the ribosomal active site and provide a promising scaffold for further ribosome engineering efforts.
This work is a collaboration between the Cate and Banfield labs, with contributions from Petar Penev and Zoe Watson. Read the paper.