The Genetic Code—More Than Just a Table
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- Cite this article as:
- Berleant, D., White, M., Pierce, E. et al. Cell Biochem Biophys (2009) 55: 107. doi:10.1007/s12013-009-9060-9
The standard codon table is a primary tool for basic understanding of molecular biology. In the minds of many, the table’s orderly arrangement of bases and amino acids is synonymous with the true genetic code, i.e., the biological coding principle itself. However, developments in the field reveal a much more complex and interesting picture. In this article, we review the traditional codon table and its limitations in light of the true complexity of the genetic code. We suggest the codon table be brought up to date and, as a step, we present a novel superposition of the BLOSUM62 matrix and an allowed point mutation matrix. This superposition depicts an important aspect of the true genetic code—its ability to tolerate mutations and mistranslations.