Engineering the mRNA-rRNA Interaction Strength in E. coli based on Computational Models

In prokaryotes the interactions between the rRNA (ribosomal RNA) and the mRNA both UTRs and coding regions affect all steps of mRNA translation.

In this study, we develop and experimentally evaluate the design of transcripts nucleotide composition based on computational models of rRNA- mRNA interactions. At the first step we computationally designed nine variants of a GFP gene with different model based mutations in its UTR and the ORF regions. These mutations are expected to modulate translation initiation and elongation efficiency.

To this end, we employed synthetic biology techniques such as Gibson Assembly. Our initial analysis demonstrates large variability in the protein levels of the variants. We are now in the process of further analysis of the relations between the mutations and measured phenotypes such as growth rate and gene expression levels.

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