Date: January 2007
What do we mean by coding DNA sequence (CDS)?
When DNA sequences are loaded into GenBank, they sometimes contain promoter
and regulatory DNA, the 5' cap, untranslated region after the stop codon,
or are just whole chunks of DNA from a chromosome for instance. CDS stands
for just the sequence that codes for something, either a whole gene or
partial gene. It should begin with ATG, and if the protein translation is
included in the file, it should begin with M for methionine.
A coding DNA sequence is simply a DNA sequence that codes for a protein's
amino acid sequence. Non-coding sequences refer to DNA sequences that do not
code for an amino acid sequence. Examples of non-coding sequences are
introns, repetitive sequences (useful in paternity testing) and sequences
between genes.Non-coding sequences are sometimes referred to as "junk" DNA.
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
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Update: June 2012