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Insect Mol Biol. 2011 Apr;20(2):177-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2010.01055.x. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

Coadaptation of isoacceptor tRNA genes and codon usage bias for translation efficiency in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae.

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  • 1Eck Institute for Global Health, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.


The transfer RNAs (tRNAs) are essential components of translational machinery. We determined that tRNA isoacceptors (tRNAs with different anticodons but incorporating the same amino acid in protein synthesis) show differential copy number abundance, genomic distribution patterns and sequence evolution between Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes. The tRNA-Ala genes are present in unusually high copy number in the Ae. aegypti genome but not in An. gambiae. Many of the tRNA-Ala genes of Ae. aegypti are flanked by a highly conserved sequence that is not observed in An. gambiae. The relative abundance of tRNA isoacceptor genes is correlated with preferred (or optimal) and nonpreferred (or rare) codons for ∼2-4% of the predicted protein coding genes in both species. The majority (∼74-85%) of these genes are related to pathways involved with translation, energy metabolism and carbohydrate metabolism. Our results suggest that these genes and the related pathways may be under translational selection in these mosquitoes.

© 2010 The Authors. Insect Molecular Biology © 2010 The Royal Entomological Society.

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