The Serine Shift

Ram Samudrala ram at mbisgi.umd.edu
Wed Sep 13 14:46:14 EST 1995

Shane McKee (shane at reservoir.win-uk.net) wrote:

>What I mean is that it is simple to point-mutate between the UCx
>options, but it requires a bigger jump to get from UCx to AGU, or
>vice versa. Does anyone know of examples where Serine is coded by
>UCx in one species, and coded for by AGU or AGC at the same locus
>in another? 

Not off-hand, but this would be fairly easy to test by obtaining a
bunch of sequences from a nucleotide database from a set of highly
homologous (so the serines remain conserved) proteins from related
organisms and first identifying the locations of serines and then what
codons these serines have.

>Sorry if it seems like a bizarre question, but my own feeling is
>that the codons ought to be conserved even between widely
>differing species.

I don't see any reason for this immediately... my feeling is that
selection occurs at the protein level, and therefore, as long as the
mRNA translation leads to a serine, I don't think the organism will
care much.    


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