Selenocysteine incorporation: A trump card in the game of mRNA decay

Sumangala P. Shetty, Paul R. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The incorporation of the 21st amino acid, selenocysteine (Sec), occurs on mRNAs that harbor in-frame stop codons because the Sec-tRNASec recognizes a UGA codon. This sets up an intriguing interplay between translation elongation, translation termination and the complex machinery that marks mRNAs that contain premature termination codons for degradation, leading to nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In this review we discuss the intricate and complex relationship between this key quality control mechanism and the process of Sec incorporation in mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4632
Pages (from-to)97-101
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry


  • NMD
  • Selenocysteine
  • mRNA decay


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