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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The codon CUG is read as serine in an asporogenic yeast Candida cylindracea.

Deviations from the universal genetic code have been reported for several microorganisms. Termination codons are used for coding some amino acids in Paramecium, Mycoplasma or Tetrahymena, and in Escherichia coli, the UGA termination codon is used to code for selenocysteine. In mitochondria, the changes of sense codons to termination codons or to codons encoding other amino acids have also been reported. Here we report another example of divergence from the universal code, this time in a non-spore-forming yeast Candida cylindracea, in which the universal codon for leucine, CUG, is used to code for serine. This conclusion is based on the observations that: (1) the amino-acid composition and the partial amino-acid sequences of an extracellular lipase from this yeast agreed with those deduced from the complementary DNA if CUG was assumed to specify serine; and (2) serine, but not leucine, was incorporated into a polypeptide in a cell-free translation system from this yeast in the presence of a synthetic CUG oligomer.[1]


  1. The codon CUG is read as serine in an asporogenic yeast Candida cylindracea. Kawaguchi, Y., Honda, H., Taniguchi-Morimura, J., Iwasaki, S. Nature (1989) [Pubmed]
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