Predominance of six different hexanucleotide recoding signals 3' of read-through stop codons

Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 May 1;30(9):2011-7. doi: 10.1093/nar/30.9.2011.


Redefinition of UAG, UAA and UGA to specify a standard amino acid occurs in response to recoding signals present in a minority of mRNAs. This 'read-through' is in competition with termination and is utilized for gene expression. One of the recoding signals known to stimulate read-through is a hexanucleotide sequence of the form CARYYA 3' adjacent to the stop codon. The present work finds that of the 91 unique viral sequences annotated as read-through, 90% had one of six of the 64 possible codons immediately 3' of the read-through stop codon. The relative efficiency of these read-through contexts in mammalian tissue culture cells has been determined using a dual luciferase fusion reporter. The relative importance of the identity of several individual nucleotides in the different hexanucleotides is complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 3' Flanking Region
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon, Terminator*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral*
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Luciferases / analysis
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Peptide Chain Termination, Translational*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Ribonucleotides / analysis


  • Codon, Terminator
  • RNA, Viral
  • Ribonucleotides
  • Luciferases