Synthetic biology successfully combines aspects of engineering, chemistry, informatics and biology. Different research fields of synthetic biology have evolved over recent years. These contain, for example, the de-novo design of complete organisms, the utilization of “building bricks” that can be used to engineer tailor-made synthesis pathways for the production of platform chemicals or orthogonal biosystems that are useful tools for protein biochemistry. These orthogonal pairs can be used to generate modified, synthetic proteins.
In the Functional Genomics group, we use different orthogonal pairs to integrate synthetic amino acids, especially amino acids with photocrosslinker reactivity, site-specifically into proteins. With this approach, for example, virulence factors of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans are analyzed for their protein-protein interactions.
Furthermore, synthetic biology provides solutions for current challenges in pharmacy, medicine and biology.