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Issue 10, 2010
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Silent mutations in sight: co-variations in tRNA abundance as a key to unravel consequences of silent mutations

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Abstract

Mutations that alter the amino acid sequence are known to potentially exert deleterious effects on protein function, whereas substitutions of nucleotides without amino acid change are assumed to be neutral for the protein's functionality. However, cumulative evidence suggests that synonymous substitutions might also induce phenotypic variability by affecting splicing accuracy, translation fidelity, and conformation and function of proteins. tRNA isoacceptors mediate the translation of codons to amino acids, and asymmetric tRNA abundance causes variations in the rate of translation of each single triplet. Consequently, the effect of a silent point mutation in the coding region could be significant due to differential abundances of the cognate tRNA(s), emphasizing the importance of precise assessment of tRNA composition. Here, we provide an overview of the methods used to quantitatively determine the concentrations of tRNA species and discuss synonymous mutations in the context of tRNA composition of the cell, thus providing a new twist on the detrimental impact of the silent mutations.

Graphical abstract: Silent mutations in sight: co-variations in tRNA abundance as a key to unravel consequences of silent mutations

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Mar 2010, accepted on 23 Apr 2010 and first published on 09 Jul 2010


Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/C004796C
Citation: Mol. BioSyst., 2010,6, 1767-1772

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    Silent mutations in sight: co-variations in tRNA abundance as a key to unravel consequences of silent mutations

    A. Czech, I. Fedyunin, G. Zhang and Z. Ignatova, Mol. BioSyst., 2010, 6, 1767
    DOI: 10.1039/C004796C

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