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Nucleic Acids Res. 1991 May 25;19(10):2715-20.

The sequence flanking translational initiation site in protozoa.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Shizuoka University, Japan.


Nucleotide sequences flanking the translational initiation site were compiled from protozoan nuclear genes and were compared in every protozoan group. The entire 5'-untranslated sequences were very rich in A- and T-residues, but poor in G- and C-residues in most protozoan genes except for the flagellated ones. The sequence AAAAATTTTTAAAATTTAAAATGANAT emerged as a consensus sequence flanking the initiation site in the major protozoan group, although the sequences upstream from -4 (four nucleotides upstream from the ATG codon) were divergent among ciliates, sarcodinians, and sporozoans. On the other hand, the consensus sequence for flagellates was revealed to be a simple feature. Only the nucleotide position -3 was occupied with a high frequency of A-residue, in other positions it appeared randomly. These facts suggest that the strong preference for A-residue at the position -3 is a universal feature in nuclear genes for all eukaryotes.

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