Project Overview

This year, the Lethbridge iGEM team is working to bring a whole new class of parts to the iGEM community: programmed ribosomal frameshifting elements. To do this, we have been working towards standardizing the PK401 pseudoknot for use within the BioBrick system. These RNA secondary structural elements cause the ribosome to switch between translational frames and give another degree of freedom when engineering genetic circuits.

  • Our project is directed towards standardizing pseudoknots to make a new class of parts available to the synthetic biology community

  • As the field of synthetic biology grows, so should its toolset. By introducing a standardized method of implementing programmed ribosomal frameshifts in synthetic gene networks, we could not only enable others to reduce plasmid size and regulate operon expression, but also enable them to come up with new, exciting applications

  • We have brought pseudoknots to the iGEM community by:
    • Characterizing their function in a biobrick system
    • Designing software that enables others to dual code proteins
    • Ensuring that the release of these tools to the wider public does not pose a significant risk to the rest of the world