Chemistry Department is pleased to host Chemistry and Biochemistry Seminar Series, Tuesday’s at 12:10 pm. Please see Ithaca College Chemistry web page.
Guest Speaker Professor Jennifer Peeler Ph.D. of Colgate University will be joining us on Tuesday, October 19th at 12:10 pm will present:
Utilizing an expanded genetic code to understand the 21st amino acid
Genetic code expansion is a chemical biology technique that enables the incorporation of non-canonical amino acids into proteins in living cells. At least 70 different amino acids with non-natural functional groups have been incorporated using this method. Applications of genetic code expansion range widely and include site-specific labeling of proteins, introduction of spectroscopic probes, and trapping of protein-protein interactions. Recently, we have developed a genetic code expansion-based approach to express selenoproteins. Selenoproteins contain the 21st naturally occurring amino acid selenocysteine, and the human selenoproteins that have been characterized thus far play roles in redox homeostasis in the cell. Selenoproteins are challenging to produce through traditional protein expression methods. We have used genetic code expansion to express a human selenoprotein in human cells. This will enable us to tackle outstanding questions in selenoprotein biology, including: 1) What are the functions of uncharacterized selenoproteins? 2) Is there an advantage to utilizing selenocysteine instead of cysteine?