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J Biol Chem. 1985 Dec 15;260(29):15571-6.

Cytoplasmic methionyl-tRNA synthetase from Bakers' yeast. A monomer with a post-translationally modified N terminus.


Methionyl-tRNA synthetase has been purified from a yeast strain carrying the MES1 structural gene on a high copy number plasmid (pFL1). The purified enzyme is a monomer of Mr = 85,000 in contrast to its counterpart from Escherichia coli which is a dimer made up of identical subunits (Mr = 76,000; Dardel, F., Fayat, G., and Blanquet, S. (1984) J. Bacteriol. 160, 1115-1122). The yeast enzyme was not amenable to Edman's degradation indicating a blocked NH2 terminus. Its primary structure as derived from the DNA sequence (Walter, P., Gangloff, J., Bonnet, J., Boulanger, Y., Ebel, J.P., and Fasiolo, F. (1983) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 80, 2437-2441) has been confirmed using the fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometric method. This method was applied to tryptic digests of the carboxymethylated enzyme and the corresponding data provided extensive coverage of the translated DNA sequence, thus confirming its correctness. The ambiguity concerning which of the three NH2-terminally located methionine codons is the initiation codon was easily resolved from peptides identified in this region. It was possible to show that the first methionine had been removed and that the new NH2 terminus, serine, had been acetylated. A comparison between the yeast and E. coli sequences shows that the former has an N-terminal extension of about 200 residues as compared to the latter. It also lacks the C-terminal domain which is responsible for the dimerization of the E. coli methionyl-tRNA synthetase.

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