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J Mol Biol. 2007 Oct 26;373(3):623-32. Epub 2007 Aug 21.

Distinct determinants of tRNA recognition by the TrmD and Trm5 methyl transferases.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Abstract

TrmD and Trm5 are, respectively, the bacterial and eukarya/archaea methyl transferases that catalyze transfer of the methyl group from S-adenosyl methionine (AdoMet) to the N1 position of G37 in tRNA to synthesize m1G37-tRNA. The m1G37 modification prevents tRNA frameshifts on the ribosome by assuring correct codon-anticodon pairings, and thus is essential for the fidelity of protein synthesis. Although TrmD and Trm5 are derived from unrelated AdoMet families and recognize the cofactor using distinct motifs, the question of whether they select G37 on tRNA by the same, or different, mechanism has not been answered. Here we address this question by kinetic analysis of tRNA truncation mutants that lack domains typically present in the canonical L shaped structure, and by evaluation of the site of modification on tRNA variants with an expanded or contracted anticodon loop. With both experimental approaches, we show that TrmD and Trm5 exhibit separate and distinct mode of tRNA recognition, suggesting that they evolved by independent and non-overlapping pathways from their unrelated AdoMet families. Our results also shed new light onto the significance of the m1G37 modification in the controversial quadruplet-pairing model of tRNA frameshift suppressors.

PMID:
17868690
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2064070
Free PMC Article

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