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Molecular analysis of errors during protein synthesis

The Farabaugh laboratory is concerned with understanding the origin of errors during the process of protein synthesis. We’ve been working on errors for many years, first studying programmed translational frameshifting—intentional errors in which the ribosome shifts out of its original reading frame—and more recently studying misreading errors in which an incorrect amino acid is inserted into a growing peptide chain. The cell invests a great deal of energy in ensuring that errors are kept to a minimum but errors do occur sometimes with alarming frequency. We attempt to understand the mechanisms that lead to errors and the ways in which the cell modulates those errors in response to changes in its environment and in cellular physiology.