start codons

Francis Ouellette francis at
Thu Jul 11 07:48:55 EST 2002

Colleen Beaty wrote:
> Has anyone ever seen or heard of a gene having GTA (valine) as a
> start codon, instead of ATG, in eukaryotes?  My professor and I
> have been working on getting the full cDNA sequence to the chicken
> IL16 gene, and our start codon appears to be valine instead of the
> usual methionine.  As you can imagine, we are both stumped as to
> how this could be.  Any ideas are appreciated :)
> -Colleen

Dear Colleen,

the place to chech in the genetic code page, which is part of the
taxonomy page at the NCBI.

On checking there I do NOT see any GTA start for chicken
(The standard code), just some alternative CUG and UUG (Leu in both
cases), but maybe checking with folks at NCBI would help.

Looking atthe CUG/UUG papers could maybe help you figure out
what they did to find these alternative start codons.

Hope this helps, cheers,


| B.F. Francis Ouellette                       francis at |
| Director, UBC Bioinformatics Centre          Tel: (604) 875-3815 |
| University of British Columbia               Fax: (604) 608-4795 |
| Vancouver, BC Canada   |

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