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Nature. 2014 Jun 26;510(7506):507-11. doi: 10.1038/nature13440. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

The selective tRNA aminoacylation mechanism based on a single G•U pair.

Author information

1
1] RIKEN Systems and Structural Biology Center, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan [2] Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry and Laboratory of Structural Biology, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan [3] RIKEN Structural Biology Laboratory, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan.
2
1] RIKEN Systems and Structural Biology Center, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan [2] Department of Biophysics and Biochemistry and Laboratory of Structural Biology, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan [3] Division of Structural and Synthetic Biology, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan.
3
1] The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, BCC-379, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA [2] aTyr Pharma, 3545 John Hopkins Court, San Diego, California 92121, USA (Y.E.C.); Department of Cancer Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 130 Scripps Way, Jupiter, Florida 33458, USA (M.G.).
4
The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, BCC-379, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.
5
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.
6
1] The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, BCC-379, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA [2] The Scripps Florida Research Institute, 130 Scripps Way, 3B3 Jupiter, Florida 33458-5284, USA.

Abstract

Ligation of tRNAs with their cognate amino acids, by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, establishes the genetic code. Throughout evolution, tRNA(Ala) selection by alanyl-tRNA synthetase (AlaRS) has depended predominantly on a single wobble base pair in the acceptor stem, G3•U70, mainly on the kcat level. Here we report the crystal structures of an archaeal AlaRS in complex with tRNA(Ala) with G3•U70 and its A3•U70 variant. AlaRS interacts with both the minor- and the major-groove sides of G3•U70, widening the major groove. The geometry difference between G3•U70 and A3•U70 is transmitted along the acceptor stem to the 3'-CCA region. Thus, the 3'-CCA region of tRNA(Ala) with G3•U70 is oriented to the reactive route that reaches the active site, whereas that of the A3•U70 variant is folded back into the non-reactive route. This novel mechanism enables the single wobble pair to dominantly determine the specificity of tRNA selection, by an approximate 100-fold difference in kcat.

PMID:
24919148
PMCID:
PMC4323281
DOI:
10.1038/nature13440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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