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Biochem J. 1989 Mar 15;258(3):715-21.

Probing the substrate-binding sites of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases with the procion dye green HE-4BD.

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  • 1Division of Biotechnology, Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Salisbury, Wilts, U.K.


A reactive bis-dichloro derivative of the Procion dye Green HE-4BD was shown to inactivate irreversibly methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MTS) from Escherichia coli and also tryptophyl-tRNA synthetase (WTS) and tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (YTS) from Bacillus stearothermophilus at pH 8.5 and 37 degrees C. At a 5-fold excess of reactive dye over enzyme subunit concentration MTS was quantitatively inactivated within 20 min in the ATP/pyrophosphate exchange assay, whereas WTS and YTS show an 80% loss of activity over the same time period. The inactivation is affected by the addition of substrates, which either protect (WTS and YTS) or promote (YTS with tyrosine) the dye-mediated enzyme inactivation. Green HE-4BD-OH was shown to be a competitive inhibitor of MTS with respect to MgATP, methionine and tRNA substrates.

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