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The aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARSs) and their relationship to the genetic code are examined from the evolutionary perspective. Despite a loose correlation between codon assignments and AARS evolutionary relationships, the code is far too highly structured to have been ordered merely through the evolutionary wanderings of these enzymes. Nevertheless, the(More)
Analysis of the genome sequence of the small hyperthermophilic archaeal parasite Nanoarchaeum equitans has not revealed genes encoding the glutamate, histidine, tryptophan and initiator methionine transfer RNA species. Here we develop a computational approach to genome analysis that searches for widely separated genes encoding tRNA halves that, on the basis(More)
In this study we investigated the kinetics of the gravitropic response of the Arabidopsis mutant rgr1 (reduced root gravitropism). Although the rate of curvature in rgr1, which is allelic to axr4, was smaller than in the wild type (ecotype Wassilewskija), curvature was initiated in the same region of the root, the distal elongation zone. The time lag for(More)
Splicing of mammalian precursor transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules involves two enzymatic steps. First, intron removal by the tRNA splicing endonuclease generates separate 5' and 3' exons. In animals, the second step predominantly entails direct exon ligation by an elusive RNA ligase. Using activity-guided purification of tRNA ligase from HeLa cell extracts, we(More)
O-Phosphoserine (Sep), the most abundant phosphoamino acid in the eukaryotic phosphoproteome, is not encoded in the genetic code, but synthesized posttranslationally. Here, we present an engineered system for specific cotranslational Sep incorporation (directed by UAG) into any desired position in a protein by an Escherichia coli strain that harbors a(More)
Aminoacyl-tRNAs (aa-tRNAs) are the essential substrates for translation. Most aa-tRNAs are formed by direct aminoacylation of tRNA catalyzed by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. However, a smaller number of aa-tRNAs (Asn-tRNA, Gln-tRNA, Cys-tRNA and Sec-tRNA) are made by synthesizing the amino acid on the tRNA by first attaching a non-cognate amino acid to the(More)
The micronutrient selenium is present in proteins as selenocysteine (Sec). In eukaryotes and archaea, Sec is formed in a tRNA-dependent conversion of O-phosphoserine (Sep) by O-phosphoseryl-tRNA:selenocysteinyl-tRNA synthase (SepSecS). Here, we present the crystal structure of Methanococcus maripaludis SepSecS complexed with PLP at 2.5 A resolution.(More)
Protein biosynthesis requires aminoacyl-transfer RNA (tRNA) synthetases to provide aminoacyl-tRNA substrates for the ribosome. Most bacteria and all archaea lack a glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS); instead, Gln-tRNA(Gln) is produced via an indirect pathway: a glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (GluRS) first attaches glutamate (Glu) to tRNA(Gln), and an(More)
The crystal structure of Escherichia coli glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS) complexed with its cognate glutaminyl transfer RNA (tRNA(Gln] and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) has been derived from a 2.8 angstrom resolution electron density map and the known protein and tRNA sequences. The 63.4-kilodalton monomeric enzyme consists of four domains arranged to(More)