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What evolutionary reason for multiple codons per amino acid?

Genetics as it applies to evolution, molecular biology, and medical aspects.

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What evolutionary reason for multiple codons per amino acid?

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:37 pm

Here's what I'm referring to, note how most amino acids are coded for by multiple codons (up to six codons for certain amino acids):

http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/courses/27619/codon.html

Certainly, using all 64 codons for 64 different amino acids would have allowed for much more complexity and diversity of proteins, right? (And probably made biochem a 4-semester class! yikes).

Are there any good conjectures about why evolution produced the repeats?
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Postby JackBean » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:41 am

can you list 64 possible and reasonable amino acids?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby Darby » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:59 pm

It makes the code redundant.
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Re:

Postby JimmyJazz » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:52 pm

JackBean wrote:can you list 64 possible and reasonable amino acids?


Since I'm a Psych major who has never taken a class on this stuff and has simply been doing a little bit of reading online, the answer is no. I have no clue what you mean by reasonable.

I'm planning on taking some serious bio and chem classes as prep for a neuroscience PhD, but for the moment I'm a complete bio/chem amateur getting what I can from free stuff on the internet.
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Postby JackBean » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:09 pm

One can think of thousands alpha-amino acids, but 99.9% would be impossible to synthesize and unreasonable for the structure. That's why I wrote reasonable.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Re:

Postby JimmyJazz » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:45 pm

JackBean wrote:One can think of thousands alpha-amino acids, but 99.9% would be impossible to synthesize and unreasonable for the structure. That's why I wrote reasonable.


Thanks. It seems the answer to my question is a bit over my head for now.
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