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A set of three adjacent nucleotides, also called triplet, in mRNA that base-pair with the corresponding aniticodon of tRNA molecule that carries a particular amino acid, hence, specifying the type and sequence of amino acids for protein synthesis.


For example:

GCC (Guanine-Cytocine-Cytocine) → alanine GUU (Guanine-Uracil-Uracil) → valine CUA (Cytosine-Uracil-Adenine) → leucine UCA (Uracil-Cytosine-Adenine) → serine

Related terms: ambiguous codon, start codon, stop codon.

Synonym: coding triplet.
Compare: anticodon.
See also: pyrimidine, purine.