Xiang-Lei Yang

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In higher eukaryotes, transfer RNAs (tRNAs) with the same anticodon are encoded by multiple nuclear genes, and little is known about how mutations in these genes affect translation and cellular homeostasis. Similarly, the surveillance systems that respond to such defects in higher eukaryotes are not clear. Here, we discover that loss of GTPBP2, a novel(More)
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) diseases are the most common heritable peripheral neuropathy. At least 10 different mutant alleles of GARS (the gene for glycyl-tRNA synthetase) have been reported to cause a dominant axonal form of CMT (type 2D). A unifying connection between these mutations and CMT has been unclear. Here, mapping mutations onto the recently(More)
Over the course of evolution, eukaryotic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) progressively incorporated domains and motifs that have no essential connection to aminoacylation reactions. Their accretive addition to virtually all aaRSs correlates with the progressive evolution and complexity of eukaryotes. Based on recent experimental findings focused on a few(More)
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2D (CMT2D) is a dominantly inherited peripheral neuropathy caused by missense mutations in the glycyl-tRNA synthetase gene (GARS). In addition to GARS, mutations in three other tRNA synthetase genes cause similar neuropathies, although the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. To address this, we generated(More)
Functional expansion of specific tRNA synthetases in higher organisms is well documented. These additional functions may explain why dominant mutations in glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GlyRS) and tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, the most common heritable disease of the peripheral nervous system. At least 10 disease-causing mutant(More)
Known as an essential component of the translational apparatus, the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase family catalyzes the first step reaction in protein synthesis, that is, to specifically attach each amino acid to its cognate tRNA. While preserving this essential role, tRNA synthetases developed other roles during evolution. Human tRNA synthetases, in particular,(More)
Early forms of the genetic code likely generated "statistical" proteins, with similar side chains occupying the same sequence positions at different ratios. In this scenario, groups of related side chains were treated by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases as a single molecular species until a discrimination mechanism developed that could separate them. The aromatic(More)
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a genetically heterogeneous condition with >50 genes now being identified. Thanks to new technological developments, namely, exome sequencing, the ability to identify additional rare genes in CMT has been drastically improved. Here we present data suggesting that MARS is a very rare novel cause of late-onset CMT2. This(More)
Although adaptive systems of immunity against tumor initiation and destruction are well investigated, less understood is the role, if any, of endogenous factors that have conventional functions. Here we show that glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GRS), an essential component of the translation apparatus, circulates in serum and can be secreted from macrophages in(More)
Febrifugine is the active component of the Chinese herb Chang Shan (Dichroa febrifuga Lour.), which has been used for treating malaria-induced fever for about 2,000 years. Halofuginone (HF), the halogenated derivative of febrifugine, has been tested in clinical trials for potential therapeutic applications in cancer and fibrotic disease. Recently, HF was(More)