Design and Construction of BioBricked Standard 5'- UTR Sequences for Modulation of Gene Expression

The 5' untranslated regions of the mRNA upstream of the coding sequence are retained post-mRNA splicing and can form secondary structures that can further form stem-loops, pseudoknots, and other motifs, which can influence translation, transcription, frequency of translation initiation, elongation speed, mRNA half-life and folding of nascent proteins. In the iGEM Part Registry, we have the BioBrick constructs of promoters, ribosome binding sites, protein-coding sequences, terminators, but not the 5'UTR. We are attempting to optimize the 5’UTR sequences and make them available as a BioBrick sequence to enhance the translation initiation further. We are using E. coli as a chassis with marker proteins and correlating their software predictions of structure and expression, and a neural network developed by us to construct a set of UTR sequences which would be tested in the wet lab. Finally, these sequences could be used further understand gene expression and potentially fine tune biotechnology processes.