January 15, 2016 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
Strong Points: Easy-to-use, good directions
Weak Points: Not much background/additional information included on site
Species-specific differences in codon usage frequency become very important when trying to express recombinant proteins from one species in a different host expression system. ATGme is a new, open-source web application designed to help researchers easily codon-optimize their DNA expression cassettes. The simply designed website nicely walks users through the process of pasting in the target DNA sequence and species-specific codon usage table to identify rare codons, followed by user-directed codon replacement and optimization of the DNA sequence (either in bulk or by individual codons). Beyond those directions and the actual tool itself, there isn’t any additional information on the website. Instead, users are directed to either email the creators with any questions or technical problems or consult the corresponding 2015 publication (linked from the website) that describes the tool in more detail.