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RNA. 2011 Jun;17(6):1111-9. doi: 10.1261/rna.2653411. Epub 2011 Apr 25.

Actin-binding protein ABP140 is a methyltransferase for 3-methylcytidine at position 32 of tRNAs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.


Transfer RNAs contain various modified nucleotides that are introduced enzymatically at the post-transcriptional level. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, 3-methylcytidine (m³C) is found at position 32 of the tRNAs for Thr and Ser. We used a systematic reverse genetic approach combined with mass spectrometry (ribonucleome analysis), and identified the actin-binding protein ABP140 as the protein responsible for m³C formation in both tRNA(Thr1) and tRNA(Ser1). ABP140 consists of an N-terminal actin-binding sequence and a C-terminal S-adenosylmethionine (Ado-Met) binding motif. Deletion of the actin-binding sequence in ABP140 did not affect m³C formation, indicating that subcellular localization of ABP140 to actin filaments is not involved in tRNA modification. m³C formation in tRNA(Thr1) could be reconstituted using recombinant Abp140p in the presence of Ado-Met, whereas m³C did not form in tRNA(Ser1) in vitro, indicating the absence of a factor(s) required for tRNA(Ser1) m³C formation. Thus, ABP140 has been designated TRM140 according to the preferred nomenclature. In addition, we observed a specific reduction of m³C formation in HeLa cells by siRNA-mediated knock down of the human ortholog of TRM140.

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