Amino acid composition of proteins: Selection against the genetic code

Science  04 Jul 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4196, pp. 50-51
DOI: 10.1126/science.237322


Distribution of amino acids in 68 representative proteins is compared with their distribution among 61 codons of the genetic code. Average amounts of lysine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, and alanine are above the levels anticipated from the genetic code, and arginine, serine, leucine, cysteine, proline, and histidine are below such levels. Arginine plus lysine account for 11.0 percent of codons and aspartic acid plus glutamic acid account for 11.3 percent; thus the average charge is roughly neutral.