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J Mol Biol. 1994 Feb 25;236(3):710-24.

Molecular recognition of the identity-determinant set of isoleucine transfer RNA from Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Japan.


Molecular recognition of Escherichia coli tRNA(Ile) by the cognate isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase (IleRS) was studied by analyses of chemical footprinting with N-nitroso-N-ethylurea and aminoacylation kinetics of variant tRNA(Ile) transcripts prepared with bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase. IleRS binds to the acceptor, dihydrouridine (D), and anticodon stems as well as to the anticodon loop. The "complete set" of determinants for the tRNA(Ile) identity consists of most of the nucleotides in the anticodon loop (G34, A35, U36, t6A37 and A38), the discriminator nucleotide (A73), and the base-pairs in the middle of the anticodon, D and acceptor stems (C29.G41, U12.A23 and C4.G69, respectively). As for the tertiary base-pairs, two are indispensable for the isoleucylation activity, whereas the others are dispensable. Correspondingly, some of the phosphate groups of these dispensable tertiary base-pair residues were shown to be exposed to N-nitroso-N-ethylurea when tRNA(Ile) was bound with IleRS. Furthermore, deletion of the T psi C-arm only slightly impaired the tRNA(Ile) activity. Thus, it is proposed that the recognition by IleRS of all the widely distributed identity determinants is coupled with a global conformational change that involves the loosening of a particular set of tertiary base-pairs of tRNA(Ile).

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