[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
1 manuscript available for review volunteers
August 17, 2017
The maintenance of a G+C content that is higher than the mutational input to a genome provides support for the view that selection serves to increase G+C contents in bacteria. Recent experimental evidence from Escherichia coli demonstrated that selection for increasing G+C content operates at the level of translation, but the precise mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. To determine the substrate of selection, we asked whether selection on G+C content acts across all sites within a gene or is confined to particular genic regions or nucleotide positions. We systematically altered the G+C contents of the GFP gene and assayed its effects on the fitness of strains harboring each variant. Fitness differences were limited to the base compositional variation in the terminal portion of the gene, such that increasing G+C content produced more stable mRNA secondary structures, which, in turn, slowed translation rate and allowed proper protein folding. Our results show that purifying selection acting against A and T mutations results from their tendency to increase the rate of translation and perturb the dynamics of protein folding.

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