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RNA. 2001 Jul;7(7):1043-51.

A minihelix-loop RNA acts as a trans-aminoacylation catalyst.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260-3000, USA.

Abstract

We previously reported a bifunctional ribozyme that catalyzes self-aminoacylation and subsequent acyl-transfer to a tRNA. The ribozyme selectively recognizes a biotinyl-glutamine substrate, and charges the tRNA molecule in trans. Structurally, there are two catalytic domains, referred to as glutamine-recognition (QR) and acyl-transferase (ATRib). We report here the essential catalytic core of the QR domain as determined by extensive biochemical probing, mutation, and structural minimization. The minimal core of the QR domain is a 29-nt helix-loop RNA, which is also able to glutaminylate ATRib in trans. Its amino acid binding site is embedded in an 11-nt cluster that is adjacent to the loop that interacts with the ATRib domain. Our study shows that a minihelix-loop RNA can act as a trans-aminoacylation catalyst, which lends support for the critical role of minihelix-loops in the early evolution of the aminoacylation system.

PMID:
11453065
PMCID:
PMC1370145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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