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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 17;107(33):14573-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005556107. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Ribosomal protein L7Ae is a subunit of archaeal RNase P.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Center for RNA Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


To the mounting evidence of nonribosomal functions for ribosomal proteins, we now add L7Ae as a subunit of archaeal RNase P, a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) that catalyzes 5'-maturation of precursor tRNAs (pre-tRNAs). We first demonstrate that L7Ae coelutes with partially purified Methanococcus maripaludis (Mma) RNase P activity. After establishing in vitro reconstitution of the single RNA with four previously known protein subunits (POP5, RPP21, RPP29, and RPP30), we show that addition of L7Ae to this RNase P complex increases the optimal reaction temperature and k(cat)/K(m) (by approximately 360-fold) for pre-tRNA cleavage to those observed with partially purified native Mma RNase P. We identify in the Mma RNase P RNA a putative kink-turn (K-turn), the structural motif recognized by L7Ae. The large stimulatory effect of Mma L7Ae on RNase P activity decreases to <or= 4% of wild type upon mutating either the conserved nucleotides in this K-turn or amino acids in L7Ae shown to be essential for K-turn binding. The critical, multifunctional role of archaeal L7Ae in RNPs acting in tRNA processing (RNase P), RNA modification (H/ACA, C/D snoRNPs), and translation (ribosomes), especially by employing the same RNA-recognition surface, suggests coevolution of various translation-related functions, presumably to facilitate their coordinate regulation.

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