genetic code
The set of rules which governs the relationship between the linear order of the @N04255@ in an @M03857@ molecule and the @ST06775@ of the amino acids in the protein which it encodes. The genetic code is a triplet code, nearly universal. It is not overlapping: a @M04074@ which alters only a single nucleotide in a gene can change only one amino acid in the encoded protein. It is degenerate: it assigns each of the 20 amino acids to one or more of 61 of the 64 possible nucleotide triplets (cf. @C01123@) that can be constructed from four @N04255@. The remaining three triplets are used to signal the @T06274@ of a genetic message.
PAC, 1992, 64, 143. (Glossary for chemists of terms used in biotechnology (IUPAC Recommendations 1992)) on page 155 [Terms] [Paper]