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Nature. 1986 Jul 17-23;322(6076):281-4.

The RNA required in the first step of chlorophyll biosynthesis is a chloroplast glutamate tRNA.


A molecule of chlorophyll is synthesized from eight molecules of delta-aminolevulinate (DALA), the universal precursor of porphyrins. The light-regulated conversion of glutamate to delta-aminolevulinate in the stroma of greening plastids involves the reduction of glutamate to glutamate-1-semialdehyde and its subsequent transamination. The components performing this conversion have been isolated from barley and Chlamydomonas and separated into three fractions by serial affinity chromatography on Blue Sepharose and haem- or chlorophyllin-Sepharose. The complete reaction can be performed in vitro in a reconstituted assay by combining all three fractions. An RNA is the essential component of the chlorophyllin-Sepharose-bound fraction. By nucleotide sequence analysis, we have now identified this RNA as a chloroplast glutamate acceptor RNA. Glutamate attached by an aminoacyl bond to the 3'-terminal adenosine of this RNA is a substrate for the enzyme(s) which perform the subsequent reactions. This reaction represents a novel role for transfer RNA: participation in the metabolic conversion of its cognate amino acid into another metabolite of low relative molecular mass which subsequently is not used in peptide bond synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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