Expanding the zebrafish genetic code through site-specific introduction of azido-lysine, bicyclononyne-lysine, and diazirine-lysine
Syed J., Palani S., Clarke ST., Asad Z., Bottrill AR., Jones AME., Sampath K., Balasubramanian MK.
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Site-specific incorporation of un-natural amino acids (UNAA) is a powerful approach to engineer and understand protein function. Site-specific incorporation of UNAAs is achieved through repurposing the amber codon (UAG) as a sense codon for the UNAA, using a tRNACUA that base pairs with an UAG codon in the mRNA and an orthogonal amino-acyl tRNA synthetase (aaRS) that charges the tRNACUA with the UNAA. Here, we report an expansion of the zebrafish genetic code to incorporate the UNAAs, azido-lysine (AzK), bicyclononyne-lysine (BCNK), and diazirine-lysine (AbK) into green fluorescent protein (GFP) and glutathione-s-transferase (GST). We also present proteomic evidence for UNAA incorporation into GFP. Our work sets the stage for the use of AzK, BCNK, and AbK introduction into proteins as a means to investigate and engineer their function in zebrafish.