An interesting pattern in the genetic code was reported previously [Blalock & Smith (1984) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 121, 203-207]. In the 5′-to-3′ direction, codons for hydrophilic and hydrophobic amino acids are generally complemented by codons for hydrophobic and hydrophilic amino acids respectively. The average tendency of codons for ‘unchanged’ (slightly hydrophilic) amino acids was to be complemented by codons for ‘unchanged’ amino acids. We now show that the same pattern results when the complementary codon is read in the 3′-to-5′ direction. This pattern is further shown to result in the interaction of peptides specified by complementary RNAs regardless of whether the amino acids are assigned in the 5′-to-3′ or the 3′-to-5′ direction. Here we demonstrate that peptides specified by complementary RNAs bind to each other with specificity and high affinity.

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