Oscar Vargas-Rodriguez

  • Citations Per Year
Learn More
The degeneracy of the genetic code allows nucleic acids to encode amino acid identity as well as noncoding information for gene regulation and genome maintenance. The rare arginine codons AGA and AGG (AGR) present a case study in codon choice, with AGRs encoding important transcriptional and translational properties distinct from the other synonymous(More)
Errors in protein synthesis due to mispairing of amino acids with tRNAs jeopardize cell viability. Several checkpoints to prevent formation of Ala- and Cys-tRNA(Pro) have been described, including the Ala-specific editing domain (INS) of most bacterial prolyl-tRNA synthetases (ProRSs) and an autonomous single-domain INS homolog, YbaK, which clears(More)
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) catalyze the attachment of specific amino acids to cognate tRNAs. Although the accuracy of this process is critical for overall translational fidelity, similar sizes of many amino acids provide a challenge to ARSs. For example, prolyl-tRNA synthetases (ProRSs) mischarge alanine and cysteine onto tRNA(Pro). Many bacterial(More)
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) establish the rules of the genetic code, whereby each amino acid is attached to a cognate tRNA. Errors in this process lead to mistranslation, which can be toxic to cells. The selective forces exerted by species-specific requirements and environmental conditions potentially shape quality-control mechanisms that serve to(More)
Accurate protein synthesis requires the hydrolytic editing of tRNAs incorrectly aminoacylated by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs). Recognition of cognate tRNAs by ARS is less error-prone than amino acid recognition, and, consequently, editing domains are generally believed to act only on the tRNAs cognate to their related ARSs. For example, the AlaX family(More)
We report the identification of novel tRNA species with 12-base pair amino-acid acceptor branches composed of longer acceptor stem and shorter T-stem. While canonical tRNAs have a 7/5 configuration of the branch, the novel tRNAs have either 8/4 or 9/3 structure. They were found during the search for selenocysteine tRNAs in terabytes of genome, metagenome(More)
How genetic information encoded in nucleic acids is translated into aminoacid sequences in proteins has fascinated researchers for decades. Faithful translation involves specific pairing of triplets of nucleotides, called codons, in messenger RNA with complementary anticodons in transfer RNA. High accuracy also requires the attachment (aminoacylation) of(More)
BACKGROUND The development of orthogonal translation systems (OTSs) for genetic code expansion (GCE) has allowed for the incorporation of a diverse array of non-canonical amino acids (ncAA) into proteins. Transfer RNA, the central molecule in the translation of the genetic message into proteins, plays a significant role in the efficiency of ncAA(More)
Progress in genetic code expansion requires accurate, selective, and high-throughput detection of non-standard amino acid (NSAA) incorporation into proteins. Here, we discover how the N-end rule pathway of protein degradation applies to commonly used NSAAs. We show that several NSAAs are N-end stabilizing and demonstrate that other NSAAs can be made(More)
BACKGROUND Development of new aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS)•tRNA pairs is central for incorporation of novel non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs) into proteins via genetic code expansion (GCE). The Escherichia coli and Caulobacter crescentus histidyl-tRNA synthetases (HisRS) evolved divergent mechanisms of tRNAHis recognition that prevent their(More)
  • 1