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J Mol Biol. 2001 Jun 1;309(2):387-99.

Specific tyrosylation of the bulky tRNA-like structure of brome mosaic virus RNA relies solely on identity nucleotides present in its amino acid-accepting domain.

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  • 1Département "Mécanismes et Macromolécules de la Synthèse Protéique et Cristallogenèse", UPR 9002, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du CNRS, 15 rue René Descartes, Strasbourg Cedex F-67084, France.


Residues specifying aminoacylation by yeast tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (TyrRS) of the tRNA-like structure present at the 3'-end of brome mosaic virus (BMV) RNA were determined by the in vitro approach using phage T7 transcripts. They correspond to nucleotides equivalent to base-pair C1-G72 and discriminator base A73 in the amino acid-acceptor branch of the molecule. No functional equivalents of the tyrosine anticodon residues, shown to be weakly involved in tyrosine identity of canonical tRNA(Tyr), were found in the BMV tRNA-like structure. This indicates a behaviour of this large and intricate molecule reminiscent of that of a minihelix derived from an amino acid-acceptor branch. Furthermore, iodine footprinting experiments performed on a tyrosylable BMV RNA transcript of 196 nt complexed to yeast TyrRS indicate that the amino acid-acceptor branch of the viral RNA is protected against cleavages as well as a hairpin domain, which is possibly located perpendicularly to its accepting branch. This domain without the canonical anticodon loop or the tyrosine anticodon acts as an anchor for TyrRS interaction leading to a better efficiency of tyrosylation.

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