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Biochimie. 1998 Dec;80(12):977-85.

A pseudoknotted tRNA variant is a substrate for tRNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase from Xenopus laevis.

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  • 1UPR 9002 du CNRS, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Strasbourg, France.


tRNA post-transcriptional modification enzymes of Xenopus laevis were proposed previously to belong to two major groups according to their sensitivity to structural perturbations in their substrates. To further investigate the structural variations tolerated by these enzymes, the tRNA-like domain of turnip yellow mosaic virus RNA (88 nucleotides in length) has been microinjected into the oocytes of Xenopus laevis. This RNA possesses 12 potential target nucleotides for modification within a structure including a pseudoknotted folding, an extended anticodon stem, and unusual D-loop/T-loop interactions. Results indicate that only cytosine-42, a position equivalent to C-49 in canonical tRNAs, was quantitatively modified into m5C in the microinjected RNA. Modification was detected to high levels, indicating that at least one enzyme tolerates non-canonical structural features.

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