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Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002.

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Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.

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Figure 6-53. Wobble base-pairing between codons and anticodons.

Figure 6-53Wobble base-pairing between codons and anticodons

If the nucleotide listed in the first column is present at the third, or wobble, position of the codon, it can base-pair with any of the nucleotides listed in the second column. Thus, for example, when inosine (I) is present in the wobble position of the tRNA anticodon, the tRNA can recognize any one of three different codons in bacteria and either of two codons in eucaryotes. The inosine in tRNAs is formed from the deamination of guanine (see Figure 6-55), a chemical modification which takes place after the tRNA has been synthesized. The nonstandard base pairs, including those made with inosine, are generally weaker than conventional base pairs. Note that codon-anticodon base pairing is more stringent at positions 1 and 2 of the codon: here only conventional base pairs are permitted. The differences in wobble base-pairing interactions between bacteria and eucaryotes presumably result from subtle structural differences between bacterial and eucaryotic ribosomes, the molecular machines that perform protein synthesis. (Adapted from C. Guthrie and J. Abelson, in The Molecular Biology of the Yeast Saccharomyces: Metabolism and Gene Expression, pp. 487–528. Cold Spring Harbor, New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1982.)

From: From RNA to Protein

Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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