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Mol Cell. 2006 Oct 6;24(1):139-48.

Elevated levels of two tRNA species bypass the requirement for elongator complex in transcription and exocytosis.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden.


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Elongator complex consisting of the six Elp1-Elp6 proteins has been proposed to participate in three distinct cellular processes: transcriptional elongation, polarized exocytosis, and formation of modified wobble uridines in tRNA. Therefore it was important to clarify whether Elongator has three distinct functions or whether it regulates one key process that leads to multiple downstream effects. Here, we show that the phenotypes of Elongator-deficient cells linking the complex to transcription and exocytosis are suppressed by increased expression of two tRNA species. Elongator is required for formation of the mcm(5) group of the modified wobble nucleoside 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-2-thiouridine (mcm(5)s(2)U) in these tRNAs. Hence, in cells with normal levels of these tRNAs, presence of mcm(5)s(2)U is crucial for posttranscriptional expression of gene products important in transcription and exocytosis. Our results indicate that the physiologically relevant function of the evolutionary-conserved Elongator complex is in formation of modified nucleosides in tRNAs.

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