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Biochemistry. 2007 May 1;46(17):4985-96. Epub 2007 Apr 4.

The C-terminal domain of the archaeal leucyl-tRNA synthetase prevents misediting of isoleucyl-tRNA(Ile).

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Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


In the archaeal leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS), the C-terminal domain recognizes the long variable arm of tRNA(Leu) for aminoacylation, and the so-called editing domain deacylates incorrectly formed Ile-tRNA(Leu). We previously reported, for Pyrococcus horikoshii LeuRS, that a deletion mutant lacking the C-terminal domain (LeuRS_delta(811-967)) retains normal editing activity, but has severely reduced aminoacylation activity. In this study, we found that LeuRS_delta(811-967), but not the wild-type LeuRS, exhibited surprisingly robust deacylation activity against Ile-tRNA(Ile), correctly formed by isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase ("misediting"). Structural superposition of tRNA(Ile) onto the LeuRS x tRNA(Leu) complex indicated that Ile911, Lys912, and Glu913 of the LeuRS C-terminal domain clash with U20 of tRNA(Ile), which is bulged out as compared to the corresponding nucleotide of tRNA(Leu). The deletion of amino acid residues 911-913 of LeuRS enhanced the Ile-tRNA(Ile) deacylation activity, without affecting the Ile-tRNA(Leu) deacylation activity. These results demonstrate that the clashing between U20 of tRNA(Ile) and residues 911-913 of the LeuRS C-terminal domain is the structural mechanism that prevents misediting. In contrast, the deletion of the C-terminal domains of the isoleucyl- and valyl-tRNA synthetases impaired both the aminoacylation (Ile-tRNA(Ile) and Val-tRNA(Val) formation, respectively) and editing (Val-tRNA(Ile) and Thr-tRNA(Val) deacylation, respectively) activities, and did not cause misediting (Val-tRNA(Val) and Thr-tRNA(Thr) deacylation, respectively) activity. Thus, the requirement of the C-terminal domain for misediting prevention is unique to LeuRS, which does not recognize the anticodon of the cognate tRNA, unlike the common aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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