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Mol Microbiol. 1992 May;6(9):1219-29.

Translation initiation in Escherichia coli: sequences within the ribosome-binding site.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


The translational roles of the Shine-Dalgarno sequence, the initiation codon, the space between them, and the second codon have been studied. The Shine-Dalgarno sequence UAAGGAGG initiated translation roughly four times more efficiently than did the shorter AAGGA sequence. Each Shine-Dalgarno sequence required a minimum distance to the initiation codon in order to drive translation; spacing, however, could be rather long. Initiation at AUG was more efficient than at GUG or UUG at each spacing examined; initiation at GUG was only slightly better than UUG. Translation was also affected by residues 3' to the initiation codon. The second codon can influence the rate of initiation, with the magnitude depending on the initiation codon. The data are consistent with a simple kinetic model in which a variety of rate constants contribute to the process of translation initiation.

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