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Plant Mol Biol. 1998 Mar;36(4):613-25.

Structure and expression of several bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) nuclear transfer RNA genes: relevance to the process of tRNA import into plant mitochondria.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, UPR A0406 du CNRS, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.


Bean nuclear genes for tRNA(Pro), tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Leu) were isolated. Expression of the tRNA(Pro) genes was demonstrated in vivo and sequence analysis suggested amplification of the tRNA(Pro) gene copy number through duplication of a gene cluster at the same locus of the bean genome. The two tRNA(Thr) genes isolated were actively transcribed and their transcripts processed in a HeLa cell system. In vivo expression tests of these genes and aminoacylation assays of the corresponding in vitro transcripts showed the presence of identity determinants in the anticodon of plant tRNA(Thr). The tRNA(Leu) gene was not expressed due to deviation from the consensus in the internal B-box promoter. The same sequence deviation also prevented aminoacylation of the corresponding in vitro transcript. This tRNA(Leu) however exists in plants and is synthesized from another gene with a consensus B-box promoter. Plant mitochondria import from the cytosol a number of nucleus-encoded tRNAs, including tRNA(Leu) and tRNA(Thr). From the available sequence data, we could not identify any conserved structural motif characteristic for the nucleus-encoded tRNAs imported into plant mitochondria, either in the tRNAs, or in the gene flanking sequences. These results suggest that recognition of tRNAs for import is idiosyncratic and likely to depend on protein/RNA interactions that are specific to each tRNA or each isoacceptor group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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