Protein Expression and Purification, Vol.31, No.2, 247-249, 2003
Codon optimizer: a freeware tool for codon optimization
Selection plays a major role in the determination of codon usage in all organisms studied so far. In highly expressed genes, a narrow set of codons is used and these codons correspond to the more abundant tRNA species. This minimizes the risk of tRNA depletion during translation. In fact, the codons in a gene may be true bottlenecks, especially in cases where foreign genes are expressed in a host in which the usage of codons in highly expressed genes does not resemble the usage of codons in the species from which the foreign gene originates. In such cases, it has been shown that substitution of rare codons in the introduced gene may increase the yield dramatically. In addition, replacement of rare codons might decrease the chance of misincorporation and protect the protein from premature turnover. Here, a piece of software is announced that calculates a codon-optimized sequence of any gene based on knowledge of highly expressed genes of a host. In addition, it calculates the codon adaptation index of the gene and identifies internal type It restriction sites of the optimized sequence. The program runs under Windows and is available as freeware for use in academia. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.