Proteins are the molecular machines responsible for most of the essential functions of biological cells, including: cell growth, division, motility and homeostasis. Every living cell uses the information stored in its DNA to achieve protein synthesis in a two-step process: (i) during transcription a messenger RNA (mRNA) is synthesized from the DNA, (ii) during translation a protein is polymerized from the mRNA by a ribosome.
The Noireaux Lab has developed a cell-free system that consists of an extra-cellular solution that reproduces the two-step process of protein synthesis from DNA. This liquid solution is named TXTL for cell-free transcription-translation. Upon adding engineered DNA to a TXTL reaction, the transcription-translation molecular machinery present in the solution can change the information contained in the DNA into proteins, without the constrains of working in living cells. This versatility and the robustness of the TXTL system allow it to be adapted to a great variety of protein synthesis applications.
The current goal of the Noireaux Lab is to use the TXTL system as the core component to synthesize the specific biological structures and functions used in ProteoCell. Through this collaboration, the Noireaux Lab will further contribute to the field of synthetic biology by improving current knowledge and increasing public interest.
The Noireaux Lab
TXTL: Expressing Life, in a Test Tube
"Young, I was fascinated by astronomy. Now I am interested in living systems and how synthetic biology enables engineering or building them."
"As a scientist, I believe that a knowledge not shared is not worth being chased."
"This versatility and the robustness of the TXTL system allow it to be adapted to a great variety of protein synthesis applications."
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