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RNA Biol. 2012 Oct;9(10):1239-46. doi: 10.4161/rna.21839. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

The absence of A-to-I editing in the anticodon of plant cytoplasmic tRNA (Arg) ACG demands a relaxation of the wobble decoding rules.

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Institut für Biologie III, Universität Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.


It is a prevalent concept that, in line with the Wobble Hypothesis, those tRNAs having an adenosine in the first position of the anticodon become modified to an inosine at this position. Sequencing the cDNA derived from the gene coding for cytoplasmic tRNA (Arg) ACG from several higher plants as well as mass spectrometric analysis of the isoacceptor has revealed that for this kingdom an unmodified A in the wobble position of the anticodon is the rule rather than the exception. In vitro translation shows that in the plant system the absence of inosine in the wobble position of tRNA (Arg) does not prevent decoding. This isoacceptor belongs to the class of tRNA that is imported from the cytoplasm into the mitochondria of higher plants. Previous studies on the mitochondrial tRNA pool have demonstrated the existence of tRNA (Arg) ICG in this organelle. In moss the mitochondrial encoded distinct tRNA (Arg) ACG isoacceptor possesses the I34 modification. The implication is that for mitochondrial protein biosynthesis A-to-I editing is necessary and occurs by a mitochondrion-specific deaminase after import of the unmodified nuclear encoded tRNA (Arg) ACG.


deaminase; decoding; inosine; mitochondrial tRNA import; plant; tRNAArg; wobble hypothesis

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