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Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (aaRS) catalyzes the first step of protein synthesis, producing aminoacyl-tRNAs as building blocks. Eukaryotic aaRS differs from its prokaryotic counterpart in terminal extension or insertion. Moreover, the editing function of aaRSs is an indispensable checkpoint excluding non-cognate amino acids at a given codon and ensuring overall translational fidelity. We found higher eukaryotes encode two cytoplasmic threonyl-tRNA synthetases (ThrRSs) with difference in N-terminus. The longer isoform is more closely related to the ThrRSs of higher eukaryotes than to those of lower eukaryotes. A yeast strain was generated to include deletion of the thrS gene encoding ThrRS. Combining in vitro biochemical and in vivo genetic data, ThrRSs from eukaryotic cytoplasm were systematically analyzed, and role of the eukaryotic cytoplasmic ThrRS-specific N-terminal extension was elucidated. Furthermore, the mechanisms of aminoacylation and editing activity mediated by Saccharomyces cerevisiae ThrRS (ScThrRS) were clarified. Interestingly, yeast cells were tolerant of variation at the editing active sites of ScThrRS without significant Thr-to-Ser conversion in the proteome even under significant environmental stress, implying checkpoints downstream of aminoacylation to provide a further quality control mechanism for the yeast translation system. This study has provided the first comprehensive elucidation of the translational fidelity control mechanism of eukaryotic ThrRS.


Xiao-Long Zhou, Zhi-Rong Ruan, Qian Huang, Min Tan, En-Duo Wang. Translational fidelity maintenance preventing Ser mis-incorporation at Thr codon in protein from eukaryote. Nucleic acids research. 2013 Jan 7;41(1):302-14

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PMID: 23093606

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