A common periodic table of codons and amino acids

J. C. Biro, B. Benyó, C. Sansom, Á Szlávecz, G. Fördös, T. Micsik, Z. Benyó

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


A periodic table of codons has been designed where the codons are in regular locations. The table has four fields (16 places in each) one with each of the four nucleotides (A, U, G, C) in the central codon position. Thus, AAA (lysine), UUU (phenylalanine), GGG (glycine), and CCC (proline) were placed into the corners of the fields as the main codons (and amino acids) of the fields. They were connected to each other by six axes. The resulting nucleic acid periodic table showed perfect axial symmetry for codons. The corresponding amino acid table also displaced periodicity regarding the biochemical properties (charge and hydropathy) of the 20 amino acids and the position of the stop signals. The table emphasizes the importance of the central nucleotide in the codons and predicts that purines control the charge while pyrimidines determine the polarity of the amino acids. This prediction was experimentally tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 27 2003


  • Amino acid
  • Charge
  • Codon
  • Genetic code
  • Hydrophobicity
  • Nucleic acid
  • Periodic table
  • Polarity
  • Protein
  • Translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    Biro, J. C., Benyó, B., Sansom, C., Szlávecz, Á., Fördös, G., Micsik, T., & Benyó, Z. (2003). A common periodic table of codons and amino acids. Biochemical and biophysical research communications, 306(2), 408-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-291X(03)00974-4