Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 37(3), 407 (2021).

Suppressor tRNA-based Biosensors for Detecting Analytes
Atsushi OGAWA
Proteo-Science Center, Ehime University, 3 Bunkyo, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8577, Japan
A nonsense suppressor tRNA (sup-tRNA) allows a natural or non-natural amino acid to be assigned to a nonsense codon in mRNA. Sup-tRNAs were utilized initially for studying tRNA functions but lately are used more for protein engineering and gene regulation. In the latter application, a sup-tRNA that is aminoacylated with a natural amino acid by the corresponding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase is used to express a full-length natural protein from its mutated gene with a nonsense codon in the middle. This type of sup-tRNA has recently been artificially evolved to develop biosensors. In these biosensors, an analyte induces the processing of an engineered premature sup-tRNA into a mature sup-tRNA, which suppresses the corresponding nonsense codon incorporated into a gene, encoding an easily detectable reporter protein. This review introduces sup-tRNA-based biosensors that the author’s group has developed by utilizing bacterial and eukaryotic cell-free translation systems.