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Annu Rev Genet. 2013;47:121-37. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-111212-133522. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Adaptive translation as a mechanism of stress response and adaptation.

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1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; email: taopan@uchicago.edu.

Abstract

The composition of the cellular proteome is commonly thought to strictly adhere to the genetic code. However, accumulating evidence indicates that cells also regulate the synthesis of mutant protein molecules that deviate from the genetic code. Production of mutant proteins generally occurs when cells are stressed or when they undergo environmental adaptation, but production varies in amounts and specificity. The deliberate synthesis of mutant proteins suggests that some of these proteins can be useful in cellular stress response and adaptation. This review describes the occurrence of, the translation mechanisms for, and the functional hypotheses on regulated synthesis of mutant proteins.

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