SynBio links above
Professor Anthony C. Forster, M.D., Ph.D.
University Chair in Chemical Biology
Program in Structural and Molecular Biology
Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
office and mailing address:
Biomedical Center, Room D9:216b
Husargatan 3, Box 596
75124 Uppsala, Sweden
phone: 46-18-471 4618
lab web: http://openwetware.org/wiki/Forster_Lab
Department web: http://www.icm.uu.se/
Uppsala University web: http://www.uu.se/en/
Swedish VR-funded Postdoctoral Position:
Minimal qualifications include expertise in molecular biology and 2 first-authored research papers in international peer-reviewed journals. Experience with translation or RNA is a plus. Please mail a letter of interest, C.V. and names/e-mail addresses/phone #'s of 3 references.
Synthetic biology, Protein synthesis, RNA, Unnatural amino acid, Directed evolution, Ribosome, mRNA, tRNA, E.coli, Engineering, Tony Forster, Anthony Forster, Anthony C. Forster, A. C. Forster,Bacteria,Biochemistry,Cancer,Enzyme action,Genome,Genomics,Microbiology,Pharmacology,Post-transcriptional modification,Transcription termination,Translation
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY, PROTEIN SYNTHESIS AND DRUG DISCOVERY:
Synthetic biology is a new field that may be defined as the complex engineering of replicating systems ( http://syntheticbiology.org/ ). Protein synthesis is central to this field and also to antibiotic development. Important questions remain unanswered. For example,
1. What are the mechanisms of substrate recognition and peptide bond formation?
2. Can cell-free protein production be improved to rival inherently less-flexible in vivo systems?
3. What genes are required to completely reconstitute translation (the "translatome")?
4. Can new protein synthesis inhibitors be developed to combat rising bacterial resistance?
Ironically, in addition to being a target for antibiotic development, we envisioned that the translation apparatus could also be engineered to generate drug leads against translation or any other target molecules.
WHERE WE ARE:
We've reconstituted a simplified, purified translation system that has enabled:
1. Modular alteration of aminoacyl-tRNA substrates using chemical synthesis to reveal key elements for substrate function in translation,
2. Overturning of dogma on the rate-limiting step in translation,
3. Explaining why the genetic code evolved to contain proline,
4. Creation of rudimentary genetic codes de novo, and
5. Genetic screening of a model library of polypeptides in a purified system, termed "pure translation display."
6. Proposed a list of genes essential for reconstitution of translation (a "minimal translatome") and have begun synthesizing and testing the genes using "BioBricks", revealing unexpected properties of transcription terminators.
WHERE WE'RE GOING:
We aim to exploit our purified translation system to:
1. Determine the rules of substrate recognition by the translation apparatus,
2. Enable ligand discovery using pure translation display of peptides containing multiple, protease-resistant, unnatural amino acids,
3. Synthesize active 23 rRNA in vitro using rRNA modification enzymes associated with antibiotic resistance,
4. Optimize in vitro translation systems,
5. Determine the genes necessary for reconstitution of translation, and
6. Synthesize a life-like replicating system (a minimal cell project) dependent only on small molecules for food.
B.Sc.Hons., University of Adelaide, Australia
Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Adelaide, Australia (discovered hammerhead ribozyme structure).
M.D., Harvard University.
Residency, Anatomical Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.
Forster, A C, Blacklow, S C. Process and compositions for peptide, protein and peptidomimetic synthesis. US6977150.
Altman, S, Forster, A C, Guerrier-Takada, C L. Cleavage of targeted RNA by RNAase P. US5168053.
Links available via your institutional account at PubMed
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ (type "Forster AC")
Wang, HH, Huang P-Y, Xu G, Haas W, Marblestone A, Li J, Gygi S, Forster AC, Jewett MC, Church GM. Multiplexed in vivo His-tagging of enzyme pathways for in vitro single-pot multienzyme catalysis. ACS Synthetic Biology, published online, 2012
Du, L, Villarreal, S, Forster, AC. Multigene expression in vivo: supremacy of large versus small terminators for T7 RNA polymerase. Biotechnol Bioeng, published online, 2011
Watts, RE, Forster AC. Update on pure translation display with unnatural amino acid incorporation. Methods in Molecular Biology, published online, 2011
Gao, R, Forster, AC. Changeability of individual domains of an aminoacyl-tRNA in polymerization by the ribosome. FEBS Lett, 584(1), 99-105, 2010
Jewett, MC, Forster, AC. Update on designing and building minimal cells. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 21, 697-703, 2010
Watts, RE, Forster, AC. Chemical models of peptide formation in translation. Biochemistry, 49, 2177-2185, 2010
Du, L, Gao, R, Forster, AC. Engineering multigene expression in vitro and in vivo with small terminators for T7 RNA polymerase. Biotechnol Bioeng, 104, 1189-1196, 2009
Forster, AC. Low modularity of aminoacyl-tRNA substrates in polymerization by the ribosome. Nucleic Acids Res, 37, 3747-3755, 2009 PMCID:2699524
Pavlov, MY, Watts, RE, Tan, Z, Cornish, VW, Ehrenberg, M, Forster, AC. Slow peptide bond formation by proline and other N-alkylamino acids in translation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(1), 50-4, 2009 PMCID:2629218
Forster, A C, Church, G M. Synthetic biology projects in vitro. Genome Res, 17(1), 1-6, 2007
Zhang, B, Tan, Z, Gartenmann Dickson, L, Nalam, M N L, Cornish, V W, Forster, A C. Specificity of Translation for N-Alkyl Amino Acids. J Am Chem Soc, 129(37), 11316-11317, 2007 PMCID:2275119
Forster, A C, Church, G M. Towards synthesis of a minimal cell. Mol Syst Biol, 2(45), 1-10, 2006 PMCID:1681520
Forster, A C. Engineering translation: A nano-review. Methods, 36(3), 225-6, 2005
Tan, Z, Blacklow, S C, Cornish, V W, Forster, A C. De novo genetic codes and pure translation display. Methods, 36(3), 279-90, 2005
Forster, A C, Cornish, V W, Blacklow, S C. Pure translation display. Anal Biochem, 333(2), 358-64, 2004
Tan, Z, Forster, A C, Blacklow, S C, Cornish, V W. Amino acid backbone specificity of the Escherichia coli translation machinery. J Am Chem Soc, 126(40), 12752-3, 2004
Forster, A C, Tan, Z, Nalam, M N L, Lin, H, Qu, H, Cornish, V W, Blacklow, S C. Programming peptidomimetic syntheses by translating genetic codes designed de novo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 100(11), 6353-7, 2003 PMCID:164450
Forster, A C, Weissbach, H, Blacklow, S C. A simplified reconstitution of mRNA-directed peptide synthesis: activity of the epsilon enhancer and an unnatural amino acid. Anal Biochem, 297(1), 60-70, 2001
Li, E, Beard, C, Forster, A C, Bestor, T H, Jaenisch, R. DNA methylation, genomic imprinting, and mammalian development. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol, 58, 297-305, 1993
Forster, A C, Altman, S. External guide sequences for an RNA enzyme. Science, 249(4970), 783-6, 1990
Forster, A C, Altman, S. Similar cage-shaped structures for the RNA components of all ribonuclease P and ribonuclease MRP enzymes. Cell, 62(3), 407-9, 1990
Forster, A C, Davies, C, Hutchins, C J, Symons, R H. Characterization of self-cleavage of viroid and virusoid RNAs. Methods Enzymol, 181, 583-607, 1990
McInnes, J L, Forster, A C, Skingle, D C, Symons, R H. Preparation and uses of photobiotin. Methods Enzymol, 184, 588-600, 1990
Forster, A C, Davies, C, Sheldon, C C, Jeffries, A C, Symons, R H. Self-cleaving viroid and newt RNAs may only be active as dimers. Nature, 334(6179), 265-7, 1988
McInnes, J L, Forster, A C, Symons, R H. Photobiotin-labelled DNA and RNA hybridization probes. Methods in Molecular Biology, 4, 401-414, 1988
Forster, A C, Jeffries, A C, Sheldon, C C, Symons, R H. Structural and ionic requirements for self-cleavage of virusoid RNAs and trans self-cleavage of viroid RNA. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol, 52, 249-59, 1987
Forster, A C, Symons, R H. Self-cleavage of plus and minus RNAs of a virusoid and a structural model for the active sites. Cell, 49(2), 211-20, 1987
Forster, A C, Symons, R H. Self-cleavage of virusoid RNA is performed by the proposed 55-nucleotide active site. Cell, 50(1), 9-16, 1987
Symons, R H, Hutchins, C J, Forster, A C, Rathjen, P D, Keese, P, Visvader, J E. Self-cleavage of RNA in the replication of viroids and virusoids. J Cell Sci Suppl, 7, 303-18, 1987
Hutchins, C J, Rathjen, P D, Forster, A C, Symons, R H. Self-cleavage of plus and minus RNA transcripts of avocado sunblotch viroid. Nucleic Acids Res, 14(9), 3627-40, 1986 PMCID:339804
Forster, A C, McInnes, J L, Skingle, D C, Symons, R H. Non-radioactive hybridization probes prepared by the chemical labelling of DNA and RNA with a novel reagent, photobiotin. Nucleic Acids Res, 13(3), 745-61, 1985 PMCID:341032
Visvader, J E, Forster, A C, Symons, R H. Infectivity and in vitro mutagenesis of monomeric cDNA clones of citrus exocortis viroid indicates the site of processing of viroid precursors. Nucleic Acids Res, 13(16), 5843-56, 1985 PMCID:321916
Lab Member Contact and Photos
Lab phone: 46-18-471 4204