Genetic Codes with No Dedicated Stop Codon: Context-Dependent Translation Termination

Swart, Estienne Carl; Serra, Valentina; Petroni, Giulio; Nowacki, Mariusz (2016). Genetic Codes with No Dedicated Stop Codon: Context-Dependent Translation Termination. Cell, 166(3), pp. 691-702. Cell Press 10.1016/j.cell.2016.06.020

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The prevailing view of the nuclear genetic code is that it is largely frozen and unambiguous. Flexibility in the nuclear genetic code has been demonstrated in ciliates that reassign standard stop codons to amino acids, resulting in seven variant genetic codes, including three previously undescribed ones reported here. Surprisingly, in two of these species, we find efficient translation of all 64 codons as standard amino acids and recognition of either one or all three stop codons. How, therefore, does the translation machinery interpret a “stop” codon? We provide evidence, based on ribosomal profiling and “stop” codon depletion shortly before coding sequence ends, that mRNA 3′ ends may contribute to distinguishing stop from sense in a context-dependent manner. We further propose that such context-dependent termination/readthrough suppression near transcript ends enables genetic code evolution.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Cell Biology > Ciliate

UniBE Contributor:

Swart, Estienne Carl; Serra, Valentina and Nowacki, Mariusz

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

0092-8674

Publisher:

Cell Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Mariusz Nowacki

Date Deposited:

25 Jul 2016 12:32

Last Modified:

29 Jul 2016 01:31

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.cell.2016.06.020

PubMed ID:

27426948

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.84794

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/84794

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