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J Bacteriol. 1986 Jun; 166(3): 1022–1027.
PMCID: PMC215227

Influence of modification next to the anticodon in tRNA on codon context sensitivity of translational suppression and accuracy.


Effects on translation in vivo by modification deficiencies for 2-methylthio-N6-isopentenyladenosine (ms2i6A) (Escherichia coli) or 2-methylthio-N6-(4-hydroxyisopentenyl)adenosine (ms2io6A) (Salmonella typhimurium) in tRNA were studied in mutant strains. These hypermodified nucleosides are present on the 3' side of the anticodon (position 37) in tRNA reading codons starting with uridine. In E. coli, translational error caused by tRNA was strongly reduced in the case of third-position misreading of a tryptophan codon (UGG) in a particular codon context but was not affected in the case of first-position misreading of an arginine codon (CGU) in another codon context. Misreading of UGA nonsense codons at two different positions was codon context dependent. The efficiencies of some tRNA nonsense suppressors were decreased in a tRNA-dependent manner. Suppressor tRNA which lacks ms2i6A-ms2io6A becomes more sensitive to codon context. Our results therefore indicate that, besides improving translational efficiency, ms2i6A37 and ms2io6A37 modifications in tRNA are also involved in decreasing the intrinsic codon reading context sensitivity of tRNA. Possible consequences for regulation of gene expression are discussed.

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