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FEBS Lett. 2010 Jan 21;584(2):303-9. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.10.067.

Transfer RNA processing in archaea: unusual pathways and enzymes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, PO Box 208114, 266 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520-8114, USA. ilka.heinemann@yale.edu


Transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules are highly conserved in length, sequence and structure in order to be functional in the ribosome. However, mostly in archaea, the short genes encoding tRNAs can be found disrupted, fragmented, with permutations or with non-functional mutations of conserved nucleotides. Here, we give an overview of recently discovered tRNA maturation pathways that require intricate processing steps to finally generate the standard tRNA from these unusual tRNA genes.

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