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Definition of Chain-termination codon

Chain-termination codon: A set of three adjacent bases in the DNA or their complementary bases in messenger RNA that specifies the end of a polypeptide chain.

The three chain-termination codons (in messenger RNA) are UAA, UAG, and UGA. They are also called termination codons, stop codons, or nonsense codons.

U = uracil; A = adenine; G = guanine.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=15850
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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