Biosynthesis of an Anti-biofouling Surface Binding Polymer with the 21st Amino Acid- L-DOPA

Producing a Novel Antimicrobial Surface-Binding Peptide Using an Improved T7 Expression System

Biofilm formation on surfaces is an issue in the medical field, naval industry, and other areas. We developed an anti-fouling peptide with two modular components: a mussel adhesion protein (MAP) anchor and LL-37, an antimicrobial peptide. MAPs can selectively attach to metal and organic surfaces via L-3,5-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA), a nonstandard amino acid that was incorporated using a genetically recoded organism (GRO). Because this peptide is toxic to the GRO in which it is produced, we designed a better controlled inducible system that limits basal expression. This was achieved through a novel T7 riboregulation system that controls expression at both the transcriptional and translational levels. This improved system is a precise synthetic switch for the expression of cytotoxic substances in the already robust T7 system. Lastly, the antimicrobial surface-binding peptide was assayed for functionality.

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