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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 2007 Feb;37(1):83-103. Epub 2006 Sep 6.

Structure of the genetic code suggested by the hydropathy correlation between anticodons and amino acid residues.

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Department Biologia Geral, Institute Ciências Biológicas, University Federal de Minas Gerais, 31270.901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


The correlation between hydropathies of anticodons and amino acids, detected by other authors utilizing scales of amino acid molecules in solution, was improved with the utilization of scales of amino acid residues in proteins. Three partitions were discerned in the correlation plot with the principal dinucleotides of anticodons (pDiN, excluding the wobble position). (a) The set of outliers of the correlation: Gly-CC, Pro-GG, Ser-GA and Ser-CU. The amino acids are consistently small, hydro-apathetic, stabilizers of protein N-ends, preferred in aperiodic protein conformations and belong to synthetases class II. The pDiN sequences are representative of the homogeneous sector (triplets NRR and NYY), distinguished from the mixed sector (triplets NRY and NYR), that depict a 70% correspondence to the synthetases class II and I, respectively. The triplet pairs proposed to be responsible for the coherence in the set of outliers are of the palindromic kind, where the lateral bases are the same, CCC: GGG and AGA: UCU. This suggests that UCU previously belonged to Ser, adding to other indications that the attribution of Arg to YCU was due to an expansion of the Arg-tRNA synthetase specificity. The other attributions produced two correlation sets. (b) One corresponds to the remaining pDiN of the homogeneous sector, containing both synthetase classes; its regression line overlapped the one formed by the remaining attributions to class II. (c) The other contains the pDiN of the mixed sector and produced steeper slopes, especially with the class I attributions. It is suggested that the correlation was established when the amino acid composition of the protein synthetases became progressively enriched and that the set of outliers were the earliest to have been fixed.

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