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Amino Acid Quotes
The meaning of this observation is unclear, but it raises the unfortunate possibility of ambiguous triplets; that is, triplets which may code more than one amino acid. However one would certainly expect such triplets to be in a minority.
A final proof of our ideas can only be obtained by detailed studies on the alterations produced in the amino acid sequence of a protein by mutations of the type discussed here.
The balance of evidence both from the cell-free system and from the study of mutation, suggests that this does not occur at random, and that triplets coding the same amino acid may well be rather similar.
This seems highly likely, especially as it has been shown that in several systems mutations affecting the same amino acid are extremely near together on the genetic map.
It now seems certain that the amino acid sequence of any protein is determined by the sequence of bases in some region of a particular nucleic acid molecule.
A comparison between the triplets tentatively deduced by these methods with the changes in amino acid sequence produced by mutation shows a fair measure of agreement.
It now seems very likely that many of the 64 triplets, possibly most of them, may code one amino acid or another, and that in general several distinct triplets may code one amino acid.
Unfortunately it makes the unambiguous determination of triplets by these methods much more difficult than would be the case if there were only one triplet for each amino acid.
That the primary effect of gene mutation may be as simple as the substitution of a single amino acid by another and may lead to profound secondary changes in protein structure and properties has recently been strongly indicated by the work of Ingram on hemoglobin.
Edward Lawrie Tatum
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