Translational effects of differential codon usage among intragenic domains of new genes in Drosophila

Jianming Zhang, Manyuan Long, Liming Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Evolved codon usages often pose a technical challenge over the expressing of eukaryotic genes in microbial systems because of changed translational machinery. In the present study, we investigated the translational effects of intragenic differential codon usage on the expression of the new Drosophila gene, jingwei (jgw), a chimera derived from two unrelated parental genes: Ymp and Adh. We found that jgw possesses a strong intragenic differential usage of synonymous codons, i.e. the Adh-derived C-domain has a significantly higher codon bias than that of the Ymp-derived N-domain (P=0.0023 by t-test). Additional evolutionary analysis revealed the heterogeneous distribution of rare codons, implicating its role in gene regulation and protein translation. The in vitro expression of jgw further demonstrated that the heterogeneous distribution of rare codons has played a role in regulating gene expression, particularly, affecting the quality of protein translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-142
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Structure and Expression
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2005


  • Analysis of protein functions
  • Codon usage
  • Evolution of new genes
  • Expression of insect genes
  • Intragenic codon bias
  • Short-chain dehydrogenase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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