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Biochimie. 1993;75(12):1143-57.

Non-canonical substrates of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases: the tRNA-like structure of brome mosaic virus genomic RNA.

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Unité Structure des Macromolécules Biologiques et Mécanismes de Reconnaissance, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Strasbourg, France.


A 3-D model of the tyrosylable tRNA-like domain of the genomic brome mosaic virus RNAs was built by computer modelling based on solution probing of the molecule with different chemical and enzymatic reagents. This model encompasses four major structural domains, including two peculiar substructures oriented perpendicularly and mimicking a tRNA structure, and a fifth domain which makes the connection with the rest of the viral RNA. After recalling the different steps that led to the present structural knowledge of the BMV tRNA-like domain, we review its novel structural features revealed by the modelling and that did not appear in older versions of 3-D models of this structure. These features comprise additional base-pairs, hairpin loops, new tertiary long-range interactions, and a second pseudoknot. The main goal of this paper is to strengthen the validity of the model by establishing correlations between the putative 3-D conformation and the functional properties of the domain. For that, we show how the present structural model rationalises mutagenic and footprinting data that have established the importance of specific regions of the RNA for its recognition and aminoacylation by yeast tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase. We discuss further how the model corroborates mutational analyses performed to understand recognition of this RNA domain by the (ATP,CTP):tRNA nucleotidyl-transferase and by the viral replicase. The published mutants of the BMV tRNA-like domain fall into two classes. In one class, the mutants leave unchanged the overall architecture of the molecule, thereby affecting functions directly. In the second class, the overall architecture of the mutants is perturbed, and thus functions are affected indirectly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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