Research Articles

Reading frame selection and transfer RNA anticodon loop stacking

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Science  11 Dec 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4833, pp. 1545-1550
DOI: 10.1126/science.3685992


Messenger RNA's are translated in successive three-nucleotide steps (a reading frame), therefore decoding must proceed in only one of three possible frames. A molecular model for correct propagation of the frame is presented based on (i) the measured translational properties of transfer RNA's (tRNA's) that contain an extra nucleotide in the anticodon loop and (ii) a straightforward concept about anticodon loop structure. The model explains the high accuracy of reading frame maintenance by normal tRNA's, as well as activities of all characterized frameshift suppressor tRNA's that have altered anticodon loops.