Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Efficient viral delivery system for unnatural amino acid mutagenesis in mammalian cells.

PMID 23818609


Here we report the development of a baculovirus-based delivery system that enables the efficient incorporation of unnatural amino acids into proteins in mammalian cells. We have exploited the large cargo-capacity (>30 kb) and stability of the double-stranded DNA genome of baculovirus to deliver to a variety of cell types all of the components required to genetically incorporate novel amino acids. These include the engineered tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pair and the nonsense mutant of the target gene. Mammalian cell transduction efficiency of baculovirus was significantly improved by incorporating genetic elements from mammalian viruses. Two polyspecific tRNA/aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase pairs were inserted into this expression system, enabling the site-specific incorporation of a variety of unnatural amino acids with novel chemical and biological properties into proteins.