A "simplified genetic code", with only 19 amino acids assigned to the sense codons, was recently developed. In this study, we describe novel simplified codes in which multiple amino acids are simultaneously excluded from the universal code. In the simplest code, tryptophan, cysteine, tyrosine, and asparagine codons are assigned to serine by using four kinds of tRNA Ser variants. The results revealed that various sets of amino acids can easily be excluded from the universal code, using our strategy for genetic code simplification. A simplified genetic code is useful as an engineering tool for the improvement of industrial enzymes and pharmaceuticals, and also provides new insights into the assessment of protein evolution. Simplified codes in which multiple amino acids are simultaneously excluded from the code can be more effective tools than codes excluding only one amino acid.
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