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    tRNA-isopentenyl transferases (IPTases) are highly conserved enzymes that form isopentenyl-N(6)-A37 (i6A37) on subsets of tRNAs, enhancing their translation activity. Nuclear-encoded IPTases modify select cytosolic (cy-) and mitochondrial (mt-) tRNAs. Mutation in human IPTase, TRIT1, causes disease phenotypes characteristic of mitochondrial translation deficiency due to mt-tRNA dysfunction. Deletion of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe IPTase (tit1-Δ) causes slow growth in glycerol, as well as in rapamycin, an inhibitor of TOR kinase that maintains metabolic homeostasis. Schizosaccharomyces pombe IPTase modifies three different cy-tRNAs(Ser) as well as cy-tRNA(Tyr), cy-tRNA(Trp), and mt-tRNA(Trp). We show that lower ATP levels in tit1-Δ relative to tit1(+) cells are also more decreased by an inhibitor of oxidative phosphorylation, indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction. Here we asked if the tit1-Δ phenotypes are due to hypomodification of cy-tRNA or mt-tRNA. A cytosol-specific IPTase that modifies cy-tRNA, but not mt-tRNA, fully rescues the tit1-Δ phenotypes. Moreover, overexpression of cy-tRNAs also rescues the phenotypes, and cy-tRNA(Tyr) alone substantially does so. Bioinformatics indicate that cy-tRNA(Tyr) is most limiting for codon demand in tit1-Δ cells and that the cytosolic mRNAs most loaded with Tyr codons encode carbon metabolilizing enzymes, many of which are known to localize to mitochondria. Thus, S. pombe i6A37 hypomodification-associated metabolic deficiency results from hypoactivity of cy-tRNA, mostly tRNA(Tyr), and unlike human TRIT1-deficiency does not impair mitochondrial translation due to mt-tRNA hypomodification. We discuss species-specific aspects of i6A37. Specifically relevant to mitochondria, we show that its hypermodified version, ms2i6A37 (2-methylthiolated), which occurs on certain mammalian mt-tRNAs (but not cy-tRNAs), is not found in yeast. © 2016 Lamichhane et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.


    Tek N Lamichhane, Aneeshkumar G Arimbasseri, Keshab Rijal, James R Iben, Fan Yan Wei, Kazuhito Tomizawa, Richard J Maraia. Lack of tRNA-i6A modification causes mitochondrial-like metabolic deficiency in S. pombe by limiting activity of cytosolic tRNATyr, not mito-tRNA. RNA (New York, N.Y.). 2016 Apr;22(4):583-96

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    PMID: 26857223

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