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Biochimie. 1989 Nov-Dec;71(11-12):1221-9.

The maximum rate of gene expression is dependent on the downstream context of unfavourable codons.

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CNRS, Centre de Biochimie et de Biologie Mol├ęculaire, Marseille, France.


Presented here is an experimental demonstration of our theoretical predictions on the role of the downstream context of unfavourable codons in a gene on its expression level. Six non clustered AGG codons were inserted in the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (cat) gene of E. coli and the expression of this modified gene (cat4) was compared with that of a cat gene in which four clustered AGG codons were inserted (cat2 gene). As predicted, the rate of production of the corresponding CAT4 and CAT2 proteins is equal as long as the rate of transcription of the gene does not exceed a given limit. When this limit is exceeded, production of CAT4 continues to increase, whereas CAT2 production decreases dramatically. Various consequences and possible applications of this downstream context effect are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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