Article

A periodic pattern of mRNA secondary structure created by the genetic code.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA.
Nucleic Acids Research (Impact Factor: 8.28). 02/2006; 34(8):2428-37. DOI:10.1093/nar/gkl287
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Single-stranded mRNA molecules form secondary structures through complementary self-interactions. Several hypotheses have been proposed on the relationship between the nucleotide sequence, encoded amino acid sequence and mRNA secondary structure. We performed the first transcriptome-wide in silico analysis of the human and mouse mRNA foldings and found a pronounced periodic pattern of nucleotide involvement in mRNA secondary structure. We show that this pattern is created by the structure of the genetic code, and the dinucleotide relative abundances are important for the maintenance of mRNA secondary structure. Although synonymous codon usage contributes to this pattern, it is intrinsic to the structure of the genetic code and manifests itself even in the absence of synonymous codon usage bias at the 4-fold degenerate sites. While all codon sites are important for the maintenance of mRNA secondary structure, degeneracy of the code allows regulation of stability and periodicity of mRNA secondary structure. We demonstrate that the third degenerate codon sites contribute most strongly to mRNA stability. These results convincingly support the hypothesis that redundancies in the genetic code allow transcripts to satisfy requirements for both protein structure and RNA structure. Our data show that selection may be operating on synonymous codons to maintain a more stable and ordered mRNA secondary structure, which is likely to be important for transcript stability and translation. We also demonstrate that functional domains of the mRNA [5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR), CDS and 3'-UTR] preferentially fold onto themselves, while the start codon and stop codon regions are characterized by relaxed secondary structures, which may facilitate initiation and termination of translation.

0 0
 · 
0 Bookmarks
 · 
135 Views
  • Science 12/2013; 342(6164):1325-1326. · 31.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DNA, RNA and proteins are major biological macromolecules that coevolve and adapt to environments as components of one highly interconnected system. We explore here sequence/structure determinants of mechanisms of adaptation of these molecules, links between them, and results of their mutual evolution. We complemented statistical analysis of genomic and proteomic sequences with folding simulations of RNA molecules, unraveling causal relations between compositional and sequence biases reflecting molecular adaptation on DNA, RNA and protein levels. We found many compositional peculiarities related to environmental adaptation and the life style. Specifically, thermal adaptation of protein-coding sequences in Archaea is characterized by a stronger codon bias than in Bacteria. Guanine and cytosine load in the third codon position is important for supporting the aerobic life style, and it is highly pronounced in Bacteria. The third codon position also provides a tradeoff between arginine and lysine, which are favorable for thermal adaptation and aerobicity, respectively. Dinucleotide composition provides stability of nucleic acids via strong base-stacking in ApG dinucleotides. In relation to coevolution of nucleic acids and proteins, thermostability-related demands on the amino acid composition affect the nucleotide content in the second codon position in Archaea.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In parallel to the genetic code for protein synthesis, a second layer of information is embedded in all RNA transcripts in the form of RNA structure. RNA structure influences practically every step in the gene expression program. However, the nature of most RNA structures or effects of sequence variation on structure are not known. Here we report the initial landscape and variation of RNA secondary structures (RSSs) in a human family trio (mother, father and their child). This provides a comprehensive RSS map of human coding and non-coding RNAs. We identify unique RSS signatures that demarcate open reading frames and splicing junctions, and define authentic microRNA-binding sites. Comparison of native deproteinized RNA isolated from cells versus refolded purified RNA suggests that the majority of the RSS information is encoded within RNA sequence. Over 1,900 transcribed single nucleotide variants (approximately 15% of all transcribed single nucleotide variants) alter local RNA structure. We discover simple sequence and spacing rules that determine the ability of point mutations to impact RSSs. Selective depletion of 'riboSNitches' versus structurally synonymous variants at precise locations suggests selection for specific RNA shapes at thousands of sites, including 3' untranslated regions, binding sites of microRNAs and RNA-binding proteins genome-wide. These results highlight the potentially broad contribution of RNA structure and its variation to gene regulation.
    Nature 01/2014; 505(7485):706-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
41 Downloads
Available from
Oct 23, 2012