Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins

2013 Edition
| Editors: Robert H. Kretsinger, Vladimir N. Uversky, Eugene A. Permyakov

Selenoproteins and Thyroid Gland

  • Lutz Schomburg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-1533-6_459



Selenium is present in proteins in form of two amino acids, i.e., selenocysteine (Sec) or selenomethionine (SeMet). Sec is incorporated during translation of selenoproteins by a well-conserved highly specific process requiring Sec-loaded tRNA and the decoding of the stop codon UGA as Sec-insertion signal. SeMet is incorporated randomly into newly synthesized proteins at AUG codons specifying methionine insertion as the translational machinery is unable to discriminate Met-tRNA from SeMet-tRNA. Consequently, any given protein can become a SeMet-containing protein by incorporation of SeMet instead of Met during translation, while selenoproteins always contain Sec at genetically predetermined specified positions. Currently, 25...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Experimental EndocrinologyCharité – University Medicine BerlinBerlinGermany