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J Biol Chem. 1984 Feb 25;259(4):2407-10.

Inosine biosynthesis in transfer RNA by an enzymatic insertion of hypoxanthine.


An enzyme was discovered which incorporates hypoxanthine into mature tRNA macromolecules. This enzyme is postulated to be similar to tRNA-guanine ribosyltransferase which inserts 7-(3,4-trans-4,5-cis-dihydroxy-1-cyclopenten-3-ylaminomethyl )-7-deazaguanine into the first position of the anticodon of four tRNAs. The hypoxanthine-incorporating enzyme has been assayed in extracts of rat liver and cultured human leukemia cells and it has been resolved from tRNA-guanine ribosyltransferase by DEAE-cellulose column chromatography. The enzyme assay is based on the incorporation of radiolabeled hypoxanthine into unfractionated heterologous tRNA and the reaction rate is proportional to the amount of added enzyme extract. Hydrolysis of the radiolabeled tRNA and analysis of the nucleoside composition yields inosine (the nucleoside of hypoxanthine) as the only radiolabeled product. It is proposed that the enzyme, a tRNA-hypoxanthine ribosyltransferase, is responsible for the biosynthesis of inosine in the anticodon wobble position of specific tRNAs, resulting in greatly expanded codon recognition by these tRNAs.

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