Journal Article

Codon reassignment in the <i>Escherichia coli</i> genetic code

Takahito Mukai, Akiko Hayashi, Fumie Iraha, Aya Sato, Kazumasa Ohtake, Shigeyuki Yokoyama and Kensaku Sakamoto

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 38, issue 22, pages 8188-8195
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkq707

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Genetics and Genomics
  • Molecular and Cell Biology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Most organisms, from Escherichia coli to humans, use the ‘universal’ genetic code, which have been unchanged or ‘frozen’ for billions of years. It has been argued that codon reassignment causes mistranslation of genetic information, and must be lethal. In this study, we successfully reassigned the UAG triplet from a stop to a sense codon in the E. coli genome, by eliminating the UAG-recognizing release factor, an essential cellular component, from the bacterium. Only a few genetic modifications of E. coli were needed to circumvent the lethality of codon reassignment; erasing all UAG triplets from the genome was unnecessary. Thus, UAG was assigned unambiguously to a natural or non-natural amino acid, according to the specificity of the UAG-decoding tRNA. The result reveals the unexpected flexibility of the genetic code.

Journal Article.  4718 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Chemistry ; Biochemistry ; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology ; Genetics and Genomics ; Molecular and Cell Biology

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.