Hidden code in proteins

There are 64 combinations of DNA-base triplets that code for the 20 amino acids, and STOP codes. As such there exists redundancy in which more than one triplet codes for the same amino acid. So far it was unclear why this could be, and unknown what function it might serve.

In a recent study, it was shown that different triplets actually result in fast or slow transcription, and thus giving mRNA more flexibility. Kashina and co-workers reported in the study that it is possible to change the arginylation of β- and γ-actin by playing around with these triplets. Since slower transcription leads to exposure of a hidden lysine, it results in ubiquitination (degradation of the protein). Thus, this study reveals for the first time the hidden code in protein coding, as described also in this highlight.


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