The ultimate goal of the University of Illinois 2012 iGEM team is to construct an RNA-based PUF protein toolkit which can be utilized for the manipulation of gene expression. Customizable manipulation will involve gene silencing by specific RNA scission. Also, the PUF protein's properties are suited for optimizing multi-step enzymatic pathways. In this way, we aim to improve the versatility and cost efficiency of biological production systems. With a protein-based RNA-binding toolkit, researchers will be able to transmute the biobricked PUF for use in their scientific endeavors. In addition, we seek to standardize and characterize the nature of PUF.
Aside from researching the RNA specific affinity of PUF and its endonuclease fusion protein variants, we have also explored and tested other potential applications for PUF. Mainly, our ancillary projects directly related to PUF include our RNA scaffold and an enzymatic assembly line based on such a scaffold. Additionally, we have characterized the 2011 University of Washington iGEM team's Petrobrick (BBa_K590025).
Outside the dry and wet labs, we have invested ourselves in a human practices project and public awareness and education about synthetic biology and science in general. To learn more, please visit our Outreach section.
Click above on a part of our project that you want to read about.