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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)
Genetic efficiency in higher organisms depends on mechanisms to create multiple functions from single genes. To investigate this question for an enzyme family, we chose aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (AARSs). They are exceptional in their progressive and accretive proliferation of noncatalytic domains as the Tree of Life is ascended. Here we report discovery of(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)
Ligation of tRNAs with their cognate amino acids, by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, establishes the genetic code. Throughout evolution, tRNA(Ala) selection by alanyl-tRNA synthetase (AlaRS) has depended predominantly on a single wobble base pair in the acceptor stem, G3•U70, mainly on the kcat level. Here we report the crystal structures of an archaeal AlaRS(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)
Dominant-intermediate Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy (DI-CMT) is characterized by axonal degeneration and demyelination of peripheral motor and sensory neurons. Three dominant mutations in the YARS gene, encoding tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase (TyrRS), have so far been associated with DI-CMT type C. The molecular mechanisms through which mutations in YARS lead to(More)
Protein synthesis involves the accurate attachment of amino acids to their matching transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules. Mistranslating the amino acids serine or glycine for alanine is prevented by the function of independent but collaborative aminoacylation and editing domains of alanyl-tRNA synthetases (AlaRSs). We show that the C-Ala domain plays a key role in(More)
Dominant mutations in five tRNA synthetases cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy, suggesting that altered aminoacylation function underlies the disease. However, previous studies showed that loss of aminoacylation activity is not required to cause CMT. Here we present a Drosophila model for CMT with mutations in glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS).(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)
Selective neuronal loss is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases, which, counterintuitively, are often caused by mutations in widely expressed genes. Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) diseases are the most common hereditary peripheral neuropathies, for which there are no effective therapies. A subtype of these diseases--CMT type 2D (CMT2D)--is caused by dominant(More)