The notion that errors in protein synthesis are universally harmful to the cell has been questioned by findings that suggest such mistakes may sometimes be beneficial. However, how often these beneficial mistakes arise from programmed changes in gene expression as opposed to reduced accuracy of the translation machinery is still unclear. A new study published in JBC shows that some bacteria have beneficially evolved the ability to mistranslate specific parts of the genetic code, a trait that allows improved antibiotic resistance.
Ibba M. The Pros of changing tRNA identity. J Biol Chem. 2023;299(8):104974. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbc.2023.104974
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