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J Biol Chem. 1987 Mar 15;262(8):3462-71.

Isolation and structure elucidation of an epoxide derivative of the hypermodified nucleoside queuosine from Escherichia coli transfer RNA.


A new nucleoside has been identified in tRNATyr from Escherichia coli MRE 600, where it replaces the highly modified nucleoside queuosine. The nucleoside is also present in a large amount relative to queuosine in mixed tRNA from E. coli strains MRE 600 and W (from which it was isolated for characterization). The new nucleoside has been characterized as an epoxy derivative of queuosine: 7-(5-[(2,3-epoxy-4,5-dihydroxycyclopent-1-yl)amino]methyl)-7-de azaguanosine, oQ, based on data from directly combined liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, high resolution mass spectrometry, and proton NMR spectroscopy. Nucleoside oQ is also present in small amounts in mixed tRNA from E. coli B. Isomerization of oQ occurs readily under alkaline conditions to give a rearranged product, oQ', characterized as 7-(5-[(3,4-epoxy-2,5-dihydroxycyclopent-1-yl)amino]methyl)-7-deaza guanosine. The present finding constitutes the first report of epoxide formation during post-transcriptional processing of RNA.

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