Formylmethionyl Transfer RNA

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Formylmethionyl Transfer RNA[1] (often abbreviated simply to fMet-tRNAfmet ) is an aminoacyl-tRNA which is used in the initiation of Escherichia coli protein synthesis. The N-Terminal of the beginning of the protein is usually a Methionine (Met, M), but in the case of E. coli, a formyl group can be introduced in this residue to give N-formylmethionine also known as fMet.

Initiation of bacterial translation requires formylmethionyl transfer RNA which binds to the start codon AUG of the newly synthesised mRNA only after the 30S subunit is itself attached to the mRNA.

Formylmethionyl Transfer RNA can be distinguished from tRNA that recognise other prokaryotic start codons (such as GUG or UUG) as much as they recognise AUG.


  1. Berg J.M., Tymoczko J.L., and Stryer L.(2008). Biochemistry. Sixth Edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company p. 871
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