Non-canonical amino acids in protein engineering

A. James Link, Marissa L. Mock, David A. Tirrell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

334 Scopus citations


Methods for engineering proteins that contain non-canonical amino acids have advanced rapidly in the past few years. Novel amino acids can be introduced into recombinant proteins in either a residue-specific or site-specific fashion. The methods are complementary: residue-specific incorporation allows engineering of the overall physical and chemical behavior of proteins and protein-like macromolecules, whereas site-specific methods allow mechanistic questions to be probed in atomistic detail. Challenges remain in the engineering of the translational apparatus and in the design of schemes that can be used to encode both canonical and non-canonical amino acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-609
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering


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