SYNAPTA

Duration: 36 months

Coordinator: Dr. Philip Holliger, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge (United Kingdom)

Contact Person:

Dr. Philip Holliger
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology,
Hills Road,
Cambridge, CB2 2QH, UK
e-mail: ph1[at]mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk
tel: (+44) (0) 1223 248011 
fax: (+44) (0) 1223 213556

 

Partners:

  • MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium)
  • University of Bonn (Germany)
  • Genoscope, Evry (France)

 

Project Description:

Encoded synthesis, replication and evolution of unnatural nucleic acid therapeutics (SYNAPTA). Information storage and propagation in biological systems is based on just two types of nucleic acids, DNA and RNA. We are building an artificial genetic system based on a third type of genetic material (3NA) using orthogonal nucleic acid chemistry and evolved polymerases for the templated synthesis, replication and evolution of novel, sequence-defined nucleic acid polymers. Such a system will conclusively address questions such as the capacity of nucleic acid polymers other than DNA and RNA for information storage, heredity and evolution. Its application to the synthesis and evolution of nucleic acid therapeutics promises to address some of the systemic constraints inherent in DNA and RNA chemistry.