Gene Synthesis and Transcription Processes
Artificial gene synthesis, or genetic gene synthesis, refers to an area of biotechnology which uses complex methods to build and assemble genetically encoded sequences from randomly chosen nucleotides without the use of living cells. The term ‘genetically encoded’ (GEN) is popular because genetic sequences can be altered by introducing change either at the site of fabrication (mRNA) or at the transcription level (mRNA transcript). Gene synthesis involves the collective efforts of geneticists, biophysicists and other biological engineers to build and engineer new biological materials. Often it involves the building of ‘genetically encoded’ vaccines, antibiotics, and medicines. The ultimate goal of these endeavors is to improve the health and fitness of the human population.
Recent advances in DNA printing and manufacturing technologies have made it possible to manufacture vast amounts of synthetic genetic material. The applications of genetic engineering far outstrip those of simple genetic changes such as insertion of a genetic sequence into a genome of an animal or plant, or reassignment of an existing nucleic acid within a plant’s genome. The potential for using genetic methods for creating new materials and tissue for medical and other purposes is significant. However, the use of artificial gene synthesis has given rise to concerns about the impact of modified organisms on the environment and human health. The concern is that the synthetic materials may produce unintended consequences, disrupting the delicate balance required for normal ecological functioning.
There are two types of DNA constructs used in artificial gene synthesis. The first is a polymerase cyclical assembly. This assembly method produces large numbers of copies of a short DNA structure called a polypeptide. Polymerase cyclical assembly is popularly used for producing many of the genetic components used in life, such as DNA, RNA, and lipids. The second type of DNA assembly methodologies involves generation of DNA transcripts. These transcriptions are assembled from DNA templates through transcription reactions that add amino acids and sugars to create a functional DNA sequence.
Gene synthesis involves the addition of nucleic acid onto an amine-DNA base, typically DNA strands that have been single-stranded. Nucleic acid molecules are joined together by chemical or physical means, usually nucleosides and polymers. Several different chemical procedures are employed in the synthesis of DNA endonucleases, primer pairs, and oligonucleotides. The procedures for assembling a nucleic acid molecule include:
Polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) are common methods of artificial gene synthesis. One such reaction method known as Polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) involves repeated heat exposure of the construct to provide initiation, temperature and length alterations. The DNA components can be any sequence of DNA including DNA strands, bacteria, and other protozoa. The DNA can be repaired via natural DNA synthesis reactions or through artificial transcription. Another commonly used DNA repair mechanism is DNA sequencing.
This is done to produce DNA fragments that may serve as guides for assembling the genes. Several different types of systems for DNA synthesis have been developed over the years.