Publications by authors named "Brian M Baynes"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Pairwise selection assembly for sequence-independent construction of long-length DNA.

Nucleic Acids Res 2010 May 1;38(8):2594-602. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Codon Devices, Inc., One Kendall Square, Building 300, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

The engineering of biological components has been facilitated by de novo synthesis of gene-length DNA. Biological engineering at the level of pathways and genomes, however, requires a scalable and cost-effective assembly of DNA molecules that are longer than approximately 10 kb, and this remains a challenge. Here we present the development of pairwise selection assembly (PSA), a process that involves hierarchical construction of long-length DNA through the use of a standard set of components and operations. In PSA, activation tags at the termini of assembly sub-fragments are reused throughout the assembly process to activate vector-encoded selectable markers. Marker activation enables stringent selection for a correctly assembled product in vivo, often obviating the need for clonal isolation. Importantly, construction via PSA is sequence-independent, and does not require primary sequence modification (e.g. the addition or removal of restriction sites). The utility of PSA is demonstrated in the construction of a completely synthetic 91-kb chromosome arm from Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkq123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2860126PMC
May 2010

Creation of a type IIS restriction endonuclease with a long recognition sequence.

Nucleic Acids Res 2009 May 20;37(9):3061-73. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Codon Devices, Inc, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Type IIS restriction endonucleases cleave DNA outside their recognition sequences, and are therefore particularly useful in the assembly of DNA from smaller fragments. A limitation of type IIS restriction endonucleases in assembly of long DNA sequences is the relative abundance of their target sites. To facilitate ligation-based assembly of extremely long pieces of DNA, we have engineered a new type IIS restriction endonuclease that combines the specificity of the homing endonuclease I-SceI with the type IIS cleavage pattern of FokI. We linked a non-cleaving mutant of I-SceI, which conveys to the chimeric enzyme its specificity for an 18-bp DNA sequence, to the catalytic domain of FokI, which cuts DNA at a defined site outside the target site. Whereas previously described chimeric endonucleases do not produce type IIS-like precise DNA overhangs suitable for ligation, our chimeric endonuclease cleaves double-stranded DNA exactly 2 and 6 nt from the target site to generate homogeneous, 5', four-base overhangs, which can be ligated with 90% fidelity. We anticipate that these enzymes will be particularly useful in manipulation of DNA fragments larger than a thousand bases, which are very likely to contain target sites for all natural type IIS restriction endonucleases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkp182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685105PMC
May 2009

Role of arginine in the stabilization of proteins against aggregation.

Biochemistry 2005 Mar;44(12):4919-25

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

The amino acid arginine is frequently used as a solution additive to stabilize proteins against aggregation, especially in the process of protein refolding. Despite arginine's prevalence, the mechanism by which it stabilizes proteins is not presently understood. We propose that arginine deters aggregation by slowing protein-protein association reactions, with only a small concomitant effect on protein folding. The associated rate effect was observed experimentally in association of globular proteins (insulin and a monoclonal anti-insulin) and in refolding of carbonic anhydrase. We suggest that this effect arises because arginine is preferentially excluded from protein-protein encounter complexes but not from dissociated protein molecules. Such an effect is predicted by our gap effect theory [Baynes and Trout (2004) Biophys. J. 87, 1631] for "neutral crowder" additives such as arginine which are significantly larger than water but have only a small effect on the free energies of isolated protein molecules. The effect of arginine on refolding of carbonic anhydrase was also shown to be consistent with this hypothesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi047528rDOI Listing
March 2005

Rational design of solution additives for the prevention of protein aggregation.

Biophys J 2004 Sep;87(3):1631-9

Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

We have developed a statistical-mechanical model of the effect of solution additives on protein association reactions. This model incorporates solvent radial distribution functions obtained from all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of particular proteins into simple models of protein interactions. In this way, the effects of additives can be computed along the entire association/dissociation reaction coordinate. We used the model to test our hypothesis that a class of large solution additives, which we term "neutral crowders," can slow protein association and dissociation by being preferentially excluded from protein-protein encounter complexes, in a manner analogous to osmotic stress. The magnitude of this proposed "gap effect" was probed for two simple model systems: the association of two spheres and the association of two planes. Our results suggest that for a protein of 20 A radius, an 8 A additive can increase the free energy barrier for association and dissociation by as much as 3-6 kcal/mol. Because the proposed gap effect is present only for reactions involving multiple molecules, it can be exploited to develop novel additives that affect protein association reactions although having little or no effect on unimolecular reactions such as protein folding. This idea has many potential applications in areas such as the stabilization of proteins against aggregation during folding and in pharmaceutical formulations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1529/biophysj.104.042473DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1304568PMC
September 2004