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New applications for phage integrases

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  • Paul C M Fogg
  • Sean Colloms
  • Susan Rosser
  • Marshall Stark
  • Margaret C M Smith

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    Rights statement: Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) This article is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). You may distribute and copy the article, create extracts, abstracts, and other revised versions, adaptations or derivative works of or from an article (such as a translation), to include in a collective work (such as an anthology), to text or data mine the article, including for commercial purposes without permission from Elsevier. The original work must always be appropriately credited. Permission is not required for this type of reuse.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2703-2716
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2014


Within the last 25 years, bacteriophage integrases have rapidly risen to prominence as genetic tools for a wide range of applications from basic cloning to genome engineering. Serine integrases such as that from φC31 and its relatives have found an especially wide range of applications within diverse micro-organisms right through to multi-cellular eukaryotes. Here, we review the mechanisms of the two major families of integrases, the tyrosine and serine integrases, and the advantages and disadvantages of each type as they are applied in genome engineering and synthetic biology. In particular, we focus on the new areas of metabolic pathway construction and optimization, biocomputing, heterologous expression and multiplexed assembly techniques. Integrases are versatile and efficient tools that can be used in conjunction with the various extant molecular biology tools to streamline the synthetic biology production line.

    Research areas

  • bacteriophages, genome engineering, integrases, integrating vectors, synthetic biology

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