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Making sense of nonsense: the evolution of selenocysteine usage in proteins

Paul R Copeland

Author Affiliations

Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA

Genome Biology 2005, 6:221  doi:10.1186/gb-2005-6-6-221

Published: 27 May 2005


A recent analysis of sequences derived from organisms in the Sargasso Sea has revealed a surprisingly different set of selenium-containing proteins than that previously found in sequenced genomes and suggests that selenocysteine utilization has been lost by many groups of organisms during evolution.