A facile system for encoding unnatural amino acids in mammalian cells

Peng R. Chen, Dan Groff, Jiantao Guo, Weijia Ou, Susan Cellitti, Bernhard H. Geierstanger, Peter G. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

178 Scopus citations


A shuttle system has been developed to genetically encode unnatural amino acids in mammalian cells using aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) evolved in E. coli. A pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase (PylRS) mutant was evolved in E. coli that selectively aminoacylates a cognate nonsense suppressor tRNA with a photocaged lysine derivative. Transfer of this orthogonal tRNA-aaRS pair into mammalian cells made possible the selective incorporation of this unnatural amino acid into proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4052-4055
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 18 2009



  • Gene expression
  • Konnatural amino acids
  • Photocaged lysine
  • tRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

Cite this

Chen, P. R., Groff, D., Guo, J., Ou, W., Cellitti, S., Geierstanger, B. H., & Schultz, P. G. (2009). A facile system for encoding unnatural amino acids in mammalian cells. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 48(22), 4052-4055. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.200900683