Project TitleGenerating Tethered Ribosomes
Track Code2014-072
Short Description

Novel method for generating tethered ribosomes

#researchtool #method #reagent #biomedical


Northwestern researchers have developed a method for engineering ribosomes whose subunits do not dissociate during protein translation. These tethered ribosomes will expand the field of synthetic biology, as they enable researchers to genetically engineer the large subunit for the first time. In laboratory tests, a common bacterium Escherichia coli was successfully grown with some or all of its ribosomes replaced by the tethered ones. This engineered bacterium could be used for screening compounds that inhibit the ribosome (antibiotics) or to enhance biopharmaceutical production. Furthermore, mutations in the large ribosomal subunit could be exploited to change the preference of the ribosome for certain amino acids, thus generating ribosomes that preferentially incorporate unnatural amino acids. This invention holds promise for enhancing not only our understanding of ribosome biology, but also enabling synthetic biology advancement.  

Tagsbiomedical, RESEARCH TOOL: method, research tool: reagent
Posted DateMar 3, 2015 6:11 PM


Michael C Jewett*

Alexander S Mankin

Cedric Orelle

Erik D Carlson

Teresa Szal


  • Biopharmaceutical production
  • Antibiotic development
  • Synthetic biology
  • Ribosome evolution and engineering


  • Enables mutation and evolution of the large ribosomal subunit
  • Allows for incorporation of unnatural amino acids


IP Status

Provisional patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Gwendolyn Humphreys, PhD

Invention Associate 

(p) 847-467-0308