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Adv Exp Med Biol. 2011;722:137-55. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4614-0332-6_9.

Unexpected functions of tRNA and tRNA processing enzymes.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.


tRNA and tRNA processing enzymes impact more than protein production. Studies have uncovered roles for tRNA in the regulation of transcription, translation and protein turnover. Induced by stress or as a programmed part of development, nonrandom tRNA fragments can guide mRNA cleavage, inhibit translation and promote morphological changes. Similarly, tRNA processing enzymes, such as RNaseP and tRNA aminoacyl-synthetases participate in tasks affecting more than tRNA function (i.e., mRNA function and cellular signaling). Unraveling the complexities of their functions will increase our understanding of how mutations associated with disease impact these functions and the downstream consequences. This chapter focuses on how tRNA and tRNA processing enzymes influence cellular function and RNA-infrastructure via pathways beyond the decoding activities that tRNA are known for.

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