Location: Food Science Research
2012 Annual Report
The central paradigm of gene expression in molecular biology states that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) makes ribonucleic acid (RNA) which makes protein. When expressing foreign genes in Escherichia coli and other microorganisms, there have been repeated difficulties with the RNA to protein step, which is called translation. This research directly addresses this bottleneck. A novel computer model for how translation efficiency can be improved has been developed in collaboration with researchers at NCSU’s Computer Science Department and the Department of Microbiology at NCSU. Research that has been done to validate the computer model includes: measuring ribosome binding to messenger RNA and how modified genes are translated. It has been shown that modifications based on the computer model significantly improve translational efficiency. This research may lead to a breakthrough in getting genes that are difficult to express in Escherichia coli and other industrial strains of bacteria to produce needed proteins.