The fundamental tradeoff in genomes and proteomes of prokaryotes established by the genetic code, codon entropy, and physics of nucleic acids and proteins

Published date : 12 Dec 2014

Background: Mutations in nucleotide sequences provide a foundation for genetic variability, and selection is the driving force of the evolution and molecular adaptation. Despite considerable progress in the understanding of selective forces and their compositional determinants, the very nature of underlying mutational biases remains unclear. Results: We explore here a fundamental tradeoff, which analytically describes mutual adjustment of the nucleotide and amino acid compositions and its possible effect on the mutational biases. The tradeoff is determined by the interplay between the genetic code, optimization of the codon entropy, and demands on the structure and stability of nucleic acids and proteins. Conclusion: The tradeoff is the unifying property of all prokaryotes regardless of the differences in their phylogenies, life styles, and extreme environments. It underlies mutational biases characteristic for genomes with different nucleotide and amino acid compositions, providing foundation for evolution and adaptation. Reviewers: This article was reviewed by Eugene Koonin, Michael Gromiha, and Alexander Schleiffer. Keywords: Fundamental tradeoff, Genomes, Proteomes, Prokaryotes, Nucleic acids, Proteins, Structure, Stability, Evolution, Adaptation

Journal Paper
Biology Direct 2014 Mar;42(5):2879-92. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt1336
Impact Factor
Date of acceptance