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Mar. Drugs 2017, 15(6), 162; doi:10.3390/md15060162

Running the Stop Sign: Readthrough of a Premature UAG Termination Signal in the Translation of a Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Taurine Biosynthetic Enzyme

Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, 701 E. Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, USA
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Academic Editor: Paul Long
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 3 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and New Perspectives in Marine Biotechnology II 2016)
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Abstract

The UAG termination codon is generally recognized as the least efficient and least frequently used of the three universal stop codons. This is substantiated by numerous studies in an array of organisms. We present here evidence of a translational readthrough of a mutant nonsense UAG codon in the transcript from the cysteine sulfinic acid decarboxylase (csad) gene (ENSDARG00000026348) in zebrafish. The csad gene encodes the terminal enzyme in the taurine biosynthetic pathway. Taurine is a critical amino acid for all animals, playing several essential roles throughout the body, including modulation of the immune system. The sa9430 zebrafish strain (ZDB-ALT-130411-5055) has a point mutation leading to a premature stop codon (UAG) 20 amino acids 5’ of the normal stop codon, UGA. Data from immunoblotting, enzyme activity assays, and mass spectrometry provide evidence that the mutant is making a CSAD protein identical to that of the wild-type (XP_009295318.1) in terms of size, activity, and amino acid sequence. UAG readthrough has been described in several species, but this is the first presentation of a case in fish. Also presented are the first data substantiating the ability of a fish CSAD to utilize cysteic acid, an alternative to the standard substrate cysteine sulfinic acid, to produce taurine. View Full-Text
Keywords: translational readthrough; taurine; CSAD; zebrafish; Danio rerio translational readthrough; taurine; CSAD; zebrafish; Danio rerio
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Larkin, M.E.; Place, A.R. Running the Stop Sign: Readthrough of a Premature UAG Termination Signal in the Translation of a Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Taurine Biosynthetic Enzyme. Mar. Drugs 2017, 15, 162.

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