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J Mol Evol. 1992 Apr;34(4):280-91.

Equal G and C contents in histone genes indicate selection pressures on mRNA secondary structure.

Author information

1
Bioinformatics Group, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Protein-specific versus taxon-specific patterns of nucleotide frequencies were studied in histone genes. The third positions of codons have a (well-known) taxon-specific G+C level and a histone type-specific G/C ratio. This ratio counterbalances the G/C ratio in the first and second positions so that the overall G and C levels in the coding region become approximately equal. The compensation of the G/C ratio indicates a selection pressure at the mRNA level rather than a selection pressure or mutation bias at the DNA level or a selection pressure on codon usage. The structure of histone mRNAs is compatible with the hypothesis that the G/C compensation is due to selection pressures on mRNA secondary structure. Nevertheless, no specific motifs seem to have been selected, and the free energy of the secondary structures is only slightly lower than that expected on the basis of nucleotide frequencies.

PMID:
1569583
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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