This invention provides methods that can be used to directly translate DNA strands, or genes, into different synthetic polymers.
In typical biological systems, polymerization reactions are driven along a template using a catalyst to specifically read sequence-specific and chain-length-specific information. Typically, the set of structural components involved in these in vivo reactions is limited to the four base pairs that comprise DNA. Additionally, the resulting polymers are limited to structures having phosphate-based backbones. Despite these limitations, biological polymers have been able to assemble into phenomenal structures with sophisticated architectures and intricate functions that make possible life as we know it.
Dr. Lynn has developed template-directed processes for synthesizing polymers and components related to template - directed processes in biology, but has greatly extended both the structures and the reaction scope. The solid-supported template solves the problem of product inhibition and makes amplification possible. The success of synthesizing long polymers establishes that this method can be used to directly translate DNA strands, or genes, into different synthetic polymers. By varying the DNA template sequences, a library of novel synthetic polymers could be established for chemical functional selection, and more categories of libraries could be further established by using different ligation chemistry.