Possible Relation between Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Protein Structures

Abstract

IN a communication in Nature of May 30, p. 964, J. D. Watson and F. H. C. Crick showed that the molecule of deoxyribonucleic acid, which can be considered as a chromosome fibre, consists of two parallel chains formed by only four different kinds of nucleotides. These are either (1) adenine, or (2) thymine, or (3) guanine, or (4) cytosine with sugar and phosphate molecules attached to them. Thus the hereditary properties of any given organism could be characterized by a long number written in a four-digital system. On the other hand, the enzymes (proteins), the composition of which must be completely determined by the deoxyribonucleic acid molecule, are long peptide chains formed by about twenty different kinds of amino-acids, and can be considered as long ‘words’ based on a 20-letter alphabet. Thus the question arises about the way in which four-digital numbers can be translated into such ‘words’.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

GAMOW, G. Possible Relation between Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Protein Structures. Nature 173, 318 (1954). https://doi.org/10.1038/173318a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.