Chemical Matters

The official blog of C-GEM

Dealing with the unnatural – the MHC way
Dealing with the unnatural – the MHC way

Can the antigen recognition process be modulated if the structure of the antigen is modified

Hachimoji DNA: The Eight-letter Genetic Code
Hachimoji DNA: The Eight-letter Genetic Code

Hachimoji DNA contains four natural bases (A, T, C, G) and four extra unnatural bases (P, Z, S, B).

Isolation through unity: creating orthogonal ribosomes through tethered subunit assembly
Isolation through unity: creating orthogonal ribosomes through tethered subunit assembly

A new method resolves cross-assembly between wild type and engineered ribosomes.

Sequence-defined Multifunctional Polyethers
Sequence-defined Multifunctional Polyethers

For several decades, polyethers, such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) have garnered tremendous interest as functional biomaterials due to their biocompatible nature.

Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) is a powerful way to explore the synthesis of proteins and other polymers outside of the cellular environment
Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) is a powerful way to explore the synthesis of proteins and other polymers outside of the cellular environment

Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) is a powerful way to explore the synthesis of proteins and other polymers outside of the cellular environment

EvolvR: where precision meets diversity
EvolvR: where precision meets diversity

C-GEM scientists explain EvolvR technology.

Mitigating translation arrest caused by D-α-amino acids
Mitigating translation arrest caused by D-α-amino acids

A recent study by Ruben L. Gonzalez Jr. and coworkers provides insight into how to improve the incorporation of D-α-amino acids into proteins.

Driving orthogonality between variant pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pairs
Driving orthogonality between variant pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pairs

Driving orthogonality between variant pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pairs By Patrick Ginther In a recent 2018 Nature news & views, the work of Jason Chin and co-workers was highlighted f…

Ronald Breaker’s “Riboswitches and Translation Control”
Ronald Breaker’s “Riboswitches and Translation Control”

Riboswitches are defined as RNA structures, typically found in the 5’ untranslated region (5’UTR) of mRNA, that sense and respond to small molecules, metabolites, or coenzymes to regulate transcri…

Ribosome assembly revealed by cryo-EM
Ribosome assembly revealed by cryo-EM

Ribosome assembly is a remarkably complex cellular process. In the yeast large subunit (60S) alone, it requires the ordered association and folding of 3 rRNAs and 46 r-proteins as the nascent ribosome…

Replacement of a histidine by a non-canonical amino acid to generate a dependent organism
Replacement of a histidine by a non-canonical amino acid to generate a dependent organism

In a recent paper in JACS, Schultz and co-workers present a strategy where replacing a key amino acid of an enzyme by a non-standard amino acid (nsAA) produces an organism that requires this nsAA for …

Addition by subtraction
Addition by subtraction

Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) are responsible for some of the most exotic ribosomally synthesized peptide backbones in biology.

More peptides with backbone modifications from wild type ribosomes in vitro
More peptides with backbone modifications from wild type ribosomes in vitro

the most recent issue of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, a paper from Matthew Hartman’s lab highlights the use of an editing-deficient valine-tRNA synthetase (ValRS T222P) to incorporate 11 non-ca…