Variations in dosage of some genes can alter the level of translational fidelity. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes that act as dosage-dependent suppressors and/or modulators of suppression, are the following: some tRNA genes (for example, tRNAGln) inducing readthrough by mispairing; genes coding for either translational elongation factor or other proteins taking part in translation; and some genes of unknown function. We suggest that the SUP35 protein is a factor which may play a major role in balance-dependent regulation of translational fidelity. Homologues of this genes have been identified in other yeast genera (Pichia), green algae (Chlamydomonas) and various animals including man. No homologies have been found in the polychaeta (Nereis) or in insects (Drosophila). Rates of evolution differ for two separate parts of the genes; the N-terminal part, which is important for ambiguous translation in Saccharomyces, is markedly variable in the organisms tested. However, the C-terminal part which is required for yeast viability has a common origin but a separate evolution from that of the EF-Tu protein family.
- elongation factor
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