The Graph, Geometry and Symmetries of the Genetic Code with Hamming Metric
AbstractThe similarity patterns of the genetic code result from similar codons encoding similar messages. We develop a new mathematical model to analyze these patterns. The physicochemical characteristics of amino acids objectively quantify their differences and similarities; the Hamming metric does the same for the 64 codons of the codon set. (Hamming distances equal the number of different codon positions: AAA and AAC are at 1-distance; codons are maximally at 3-distance.) The CodonPolytope, a 9-dimensional geometric object, is spanned by 64 vertices that represent the codons and the Euclidian distances between these vertices correspond one-to-one with intercodon Hamming distances. The CodonGraph represents the vertices and edges of the polytope; each edge equals a Hamming 1-distance. The mirror reflection symmetry group of the polytope is isomorphic to the largest permutation symmetry group of the codon set that preserves Hamming distances. These groups contain 82,944 symmetries. Many polytope symmetries coincide with the degeneracy and similarity patterns of the genetic code. These code symmetries are strongly related with the face structure of the polytope with smaller faces displaying stronger code symmetries. Splitting the polytope stepwise into smaller faces models an early evolution of the code that generates this hierarchy of code symmetries. The canonical code represents a class of 41,472 codes with equivalent symmetries; a single class among an astronomical number of symmetry classes comprising all possible codes. View Full-Text
Share & Cite This Article
Lenstra, R. The Graph, Geometry and Symmetries of the Genetic Code with Hamming Metric. Symmetry 2015, 7, 1211-1260.
Lenstra R. The Graph, Geometry and Symmetries of the Genetic Code with Hamming Metric. Symmetry. 2015; 7(3):1211-1260.Chicago/Turabian Style
Lenstra, Reijer. 2015. "The Graph, Geometry and Symmetries of the Genetic Code with Hamming Metric." Symmetry 7, no. 3: 1211-1260.