Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2005 Dec 30;280(52):42744-9. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

Starvation-induced cleavage of the tRNA anticodon loop in Tetrahymena thermophila.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-3204, USA.


Amino acid deprivation triggers dramatic physiological responses in all organisms, altering both the synthesis and destruction of RNA and protein. Here we describe, using the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, a previously unidentified response to amino acid deprivation in which mature transfer RNA (tRNA) is cleaved in the anticodon loop. We observed that anticodon loop cleavage affects a small fraction of most or all tRNA sequences. Accumulation of cleaved tRNA is temporally coordinated with the morphological and metabolic changes of adaptation to starvation. The starvation-induced endonucleolytic cleavage activity targets tRNAs that have undergone maturation by 5' and 3' end processing and base modification. Curiously, the majority of cleaved tRNAs lack the 3' terminal CCA nucleotides required for aminoacylation. Starvation-induced tRNA cleavage is inhibited in the presence of essential amino acids, independent of the persistence of other starvation-induced responses. Our findings suggest that anticodon loop cleavage may reduce the accumulation of uncharged tRNAs as part of a specific response induced by amino acid starvation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center