The 5′ and 3′ regions adjacent to the initiation codon in 22 Plasmodium falciparum sequences were examined. A 5′ consensus sequence (AAAA βATG) was found. Although P. falciparum non-translated DNA is A-rich, A occurred significantly more frequently in the 4 positions preceding the initiation ATG than in adjacent non-translated DNA, suggesting that this consensus sequence has functional significance in the initiation of translation. This region has similarities with the equivalent sequences in yeast and Drosophila but differs markedly from that in vertebrates. No significant bias in nucleotide frequencies was found 3′ to the initiation codon. © 1990.
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