2
$\begingroup$

I know that by now this is old new but I heard that a cell that used a synthetic pair of nucleotides, called X and Y, have been made. My question was, how did the cell understand the X and Y nucleotides during translation and how was it even represented in mRNA? It must have been represented differently, possibly using X and Y nucleotides only. That's the only way I can think of that causes the cell to make 172 amino acids instead of the usual 20. By the way I read this in the Discover magazine, January issue.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

The altered E Coli still only made use of the regular 20 amino acids (presumably).

Looking at the original citation, Malyshev et al didn't characterize the RNA in their altered E Coli at all. All they did was add free X and Y to the E Coli's growth medium and add a gene to the E Coli that expressed an algal nucleotide triphosphate transporter. Malyshev et al then demonstrated that replication (copying of the DNA) proceeds normally and in such a way as to preserve the X and Y content.

So no information as to whether any of the products downstream from the DNA (ie mRNA, proteins, etc) were affected by their modifications.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.