Improved Technique Produces Array of Human-made DNA Sequences
January 26, 2011 12:43 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Duke University Photography )
New faster technique could lead to the development of new types of drugs
have created an improved technique that is capable of producing nearly an unlimited array of human-made DNA sequences quickly and easily.
Ashutosh Chilkoti, study leader and Theo Pilkington Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering, along with Daniel Callahan, of Duke University, and graduate students Miriam Amiram and García Quiroz, have developed a method for creating human-made DNA sequences faster in order to produce repetitive proteins, which are used to make new bioengineered tissues and drugs.
Traditional techniques for creating DNA sequences are not robust or very slow, which has prevented the development of new classes of protein-based polymers.
But now, the Duke University researchers have created
a new process
called overlap-extension rolling circle amplification. The process attaches a macromolecule, or polymer, to a protein, which allows the protein to maintain activity in the bloodstream longer and increases effectiveness. But instead of building these protein building blocks individually the way traditional methods do now, this new technique can make almost an unlimited number of them.
"Depending on how complicated you want the polymer sequence to be, there are an infinite number of combinations you could make," said Chilkoti. "We haven't even begun to look at all the sequences that can be made or the unique properties they might have."
One beneficial trait to this new technique is that it is an improvement to already-existing methods, which makes it inexpensive to use in the laboratory.
"A very popular method for making tandem copies of
involves inserting them iteratively into a bacterial plasmid," said Amiram. "After the vector has grown in size, the copies of the sequence are cut out using enzymes and the process is repeated to generate a larger polymer. It is a very time-consuming process.
"With this new method, you don't get just one product, but many. This should help us to make large libraries of proteins, which we can use to rapidly screen new combinations. This powerful strategy generates
libraries of repetitive genes
over a wide range of molecular weights in a 'one-pot' parallel format."
To test this improved technique, the Duke University researchers synthesized genes located in two different classes of protein-polymers. The first was protein-polymer combinations for elastin, which is found in connective tissue. The second synthesized genes in glucagon-like peptide-1 analogs "to show variable pharmokinetic properties. Researchers were successfully able to synthesize genes in both cases.
"This could help remove one of the biggest stumbling blocks we face in producing these drugs," said Chilkoti. "You can't make the proteins without genes, which act as the software directing the protein's production. Instead of building each sequence individually, as is done now, we can literally make hundreds, each with subtle differences."
was published in
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
1/26/2011 4:08:37 PM
Ok.. there are two completely different things being talked about in such a convoluted mishmash it's embarrassing. When I read this on Science Daily, it was even worst.
Firstly, this technique is for amplifying DNA. Making proteins from the DNA is something -completely different-, and has nothing to do with this. Lastly... this isn't a breakthrough, just a modified PCR protocol reaction. There have been many techniques for overlapping amplification of DNA, especially for cDNA library cloning directly from genomes.
Honestly, I don't see what's new about this technique (I looked at the paper itself), other than being a tweaking of the overlapping PCR process to make a rolling concatemer in a single reaction, with controllable length based on the amount of primers added and number of cycles. There are other PCR protocols that do the same, just in usually two reaction steps.
And then there's the baseless claims in the article itself. I mean, honestly, "Traditional techniques for creating DNA sequences are not robust or very slow"? That's a load of utter BS. I make DNA all the time, in fact, at this very moment I have 9 PCR reactions going in my thermocycler. These reactions are neither slow nor "not robust".
Dang, I think the press got so overly excited by a minor technique simply because the authors talked about "protein-polymer" (where do they come up with these terms? Proteins are already polymers by definition!) production using the DNA as being the driving force for this particular lab to make this technique.
1/26/2011 6:38:19 PM
I am glad you chimed in to clarify the article, I was about to and then read your comments.
1/27/2011 2:10:24 PM
Are you saying Ashutosh Chikotli is a charlatan?
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
"Tunneling Electrode Junction" Device Could Sequence Human DNA in Minutes
December 21, 2010, 10:05 AM
First Family Genome Sequenced, Offers Insight on Disease
March 11, 2010, 1:28 PM
Chagrined Over Leaks, CDC Confirms First U.S. Ebola Diagnosis in Dallas, Texas
September 30, 2014, 5:55 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
Most Popular Articles
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
TiVo Mega Features 24TB of Storage, Can Record Three Years* Worth of TV Content
September 8, 2014, 8:45 AM
FBI Outraged That Apple, Google are Adopting Digital "Locks" to Protect Users
September 26, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information