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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Nov 15;250(1):77-84.

Genomic organization, cDNA sequence, bacterial expression, and purification of human seryl-tRNA synthase.

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  • 1EMBL Grenoble Outstation, France.


In this paper, we report the cDNA sequence and deduced primary sequence for human cytosolic seryl-tRNA synthetase, and its expression in Escherichia coli. Two human brain cDNA clones of different origin, containing overlapping fragments coding for human seryl-tRNA synthetase were sequenced: HFBDN14 (fetal brain clone); and IB48 (infant brain clone). For both clones the 5' region of the cDNA was missing. This 5' region was obtained via PCR methods using a human brain 5' RACE-Ready cDNA library. The complete cDNA sequence allowed us to define primers to isolate and characterize the intron/exon structure of the serS gene, consisting of 10 introns and 11 exons. The introns' sizes range from 283 bp to more than 3000 bp and the size of the exons from 71 bp to 222 bp. The availability of the gene structure of the human enzyme could help to clarify some aspects of the molecular evolution of class-II aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. The human seryl-tRNA synthetase has been expressed in E. coli, purified (95% pure as determined by SDS/PAGE) and kinetic parameters have been measured for its substrate tRNA. The human seryl-tRNA synthetase sequence (514 amino acid residues) shows significant sequence identity with seryl-tRNA synthetases from E. coli (25%), Saccharomyces cerevisiae (40%), Arabidopsis thaliana (41%) and Caenorhabditis elegans (60%). The partial sequences from published mammalian seryl-tRNA synthetases are very similar to the human enzyme (94% and 92% identity for mouse and Chinese hamster seryl-tRNA synthetase, respectively). Human seryl-tRNA synthetase, similar to several other class-I and class-II human aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, is clearly related to its bacterial counterparts, independent of an additional C-terminal domain and a N-terminal insertion identified in the human enzyme. In functional studies, the enzyme aminoacylates calf liver tRNA and prokaryotic E. coli tRNA.

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