Dosage effect of minor arginyl- and isoleucyl-tRNAs on protein synthesis in an Escherichia coli in vitro coupled transcription/translation system

J Biosci Bioeng. 2001;91(1):53-7. doi: 10.1263/jbb.91.53.


In Escherichia coli mRNA, the arginine codons AGA/AGG and the isoleucine codon AUA are rarely used with frequencies of about 0.35% and 0.41%, respectively. Six genes with a different number of these codons were expressed in an E. coli in vitro coupled transcription/translation system, which contained either tRNA prepared from E. coli cells carrying a plasmid with argU and ileX genes encoding rare tRNAs (tRNA(arg)(AGA/AGG) and tRNA(ile)(AUA)), designated codon-plus tRNA, or normal tRNA from cells lacking the plasmid. Genes having a low number of the rare codons, such as genes encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase and anti-gp120 single-chain Fv (artificially constructed to remove rare codons), were expressed at similar levels using with both tRNA preparations. On the other hand, the use of codon-plus tRNA increased the expression levels of genes having a relatively large number of the rare codons, including genes encoding archaeal proteins, green fluorescent protein of jelly fish origin, and a single-chain Fv of mouse origin, by about 20% higher than that using normal tRNA.