Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 121–127

Codons and nearest-neighbor nucleotide pairs in mammalian messenger RNA

  • Thomas H. Jukes

DOI: 10.1007/BF01733888

Cite this article as:
Jukes, T.H. J Mol Evol (1978) 11: 121. doi:10.1007/BF01733888


The codons in four mammalian messenger RNAs (rabbitβ hemoglobin, rat pre-proinsulin, rat pre-growth hormone and human chorionic somatomammotropin) show a predominance of C and G in third nucleotide positions. The C:U ratio is about 2 to 1, and the G:A ratio is about 4 to 1. The possibility is discussed that this disproportionality resulted from DNA replicative errors that favor C·G pairs over A·T pairs, as found in theE.coli mut T strain.

“Nearest neighbor” base pairs (“doublets”) in the protien-coding regions ofφX174 and in four mammalian mRNAs have been compared. Mammalian mRNA has a low content of CpG in comparison with expectations from its C and G content.

Key words

Doublets Viral RNA Mammalian mRNA Genetic code 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas H. Jukes
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA