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© Emmanuelle Quemin
Electron micrograph of the hyperthermophilic archaea Sulfolobus islandicus strain LAL14/1.
Publication : Emerging Topics in Life Sciences

Pyrrolysine in Archaea, a 22nd amino-acid encoded through a genetic code expansion.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Emerging Topics in Life Sciences - 22 Nov 2018

Brugere J-F, Atkins J, O'Toole PW, Borrel G

Emerging Topics in Life Sciences Nov 22, 2018, 2 (4) 607-618;

The 22nd amino acid discovered to be directly encoded, pyrrolysine, is specified by UAG. Until recently, pyrrolysine was only known to be present in archaea from a methanogenic lineage (Methanosarcinales), where it is important in enzymes catalysing anoxic methylamines metabolism, and a few anaerobic bacteria. Relatively new discoveries have revealed wider presence in archaea, deepened functional understanding, shown remarkable carbon source-dependent expression of expanded decoding and extended exploitation of the pyrrolysine machinery for synthetic code expansion. At the same time, other studies have shown the presence of pyrrolysine-containing archaea in the human gut and this has prompted health considerations. The article reviews our knowledge of this fascinating exception to the ‘standard’ genetic code.

http://www.emergtoplifesci.org/content/2/4/607.full-text.pdf