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(1/5305) Pseudouridine mapping in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) reveals that pseudouridine synthase pus1p exhibits a dual substrate specificity for U2 snRNA and tRNA.

Pseudouridine (Psi) residues were localized in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spliceosomal U small nuclear RNAs (UsnRNAs) by using the chemical mapping method. In contrast to vertebrate UsnRNAs, S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs contain only a few Psi residues, which are located in segments involved in intermolecular RNA-RNA or RNA-protein interactions. At these positions, UsnRNAs are universally modified. When yeast mutants disrupted for one of the several pseudouridine synthase genes (PUS1, PUS2, PUS3, and PUS4) or depleted in rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p were tested for UsnRNA Psi content, only the loss of the Pus1p activity was found to affect Psi formation in spliceosomal UsnRNAs. Indeed, Psi44 formation in U2 snRNA was abolished. By using purified Pus1p enzyme and in vitro-produced U2 snRNA, Pus1p is shown here to catalyze Psi44 formation in the S. cerevisiae U2 snRNA. Thus, Pus1p is the first UsnRNA pseudouridine synthase characterized so far which exhibits a dual substrate specificity, acting on both tRNAs and U2 snRNA. As depletion of rRNA-pseudouridine synthase Cbf5p had no effect on UsnRNA Psi content, formation of Psi residues in S. cerevisiae UsnRNAs is not dependent on the Cbf5p-snoRNA guided mechanism.  (+info)

(2/5305) A novel nucleotide incorporation activity implicated in the editing of mitochondrial transfer RNAs in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

In Acanthamoeba castellanii, most of the mtDNA-encoded tRNAs are edited by a process that replaces one or more of the first three nucleotides at their 5' ends. As a result, base pairing potential is restored at acceptor stem positions (1:72, 2:71, and/or 3:70, in standard tRNA nomenclature) that are mismatched according to the corresponding tRNA gene sequence. Here we describe a novel nucleotide incorporation activity, partially purified from A. castellanii mitochondria, that has properties implicating it in mitochondrial tRNA editing in this organism. This activity is able to replace nucleotides at the first three positions of a tRNA (positions 1, 2, and 3), matching the newly incorporated residues through canonical base pairing to the respective partner nucleotide in the 3' half of the acceptor stem. Labeling experiments with natural (Escherichia coli tRNATyr) and synthetic (run-off transcripts corresponding to A. castellanii mitochondrial tRNALeu1) substrates suggest that the nucleotide incorporation activity consists of at least two components, a 5' exonuclease or endonuclease and a template-directed 3'-to-5' nucleotidyltransferase. The nucleotidyltransferase component displays an ATP requirement and generates 5' pppN... termini in vitro. The development of an accurate and efficient in vitro system opens the way for detailed studies of the biochemical properties of this novel activity and its relationship to mitochondrial tRNA editing in A. castellanii. In addition, the system will allow delineation of the structural features in a tRNA that identify it as a substrate for the labeling activity.  (+info)

(3/5305) The biosynthesis of transfer RNA in insects. II. Isolation of transfer RNA precursors from the posterior silk gland of Bombyx mori.

The occurrence of precursors to tRNA in the post-polysomal fraction of the posterior silk gland of Bombyx mori was demonstrated by pulse-chase labeling and DNA-RNA hybridization competition experiments. These precursors had molecular sizes ranging from 4S to 5S on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Analysis of the incorporation of the methyl group from [methyl-14C]methionine revealed that a radioactive peak on polyacrylamide gel appeared in the 4.5S region during brief labeling. This suggested that some methylation occurred at the 4.5S precursor step.  (+info)

(4/5305) Purification and characterization of initiation factor IF-E2 from rabbit reticulocytes.

Initiation factor IF-E2 was isolated from rabbit reticulocytes and purified 120-fold to near homogeneity by ammonium sulfate fractionation, column chromatography on DEAE-cellulose and phosphocellulose, and, when suitable, by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The factor is a complex protein containing three nonidentical polypeptides of molecular weight 57,000, 52,000, and 36,000. It behaves as a complex throughout its purification and during polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in nondenaturing buffer but its thress components are readily separated by electrophoresis in denaturing buffers. None of its components corresponds to any of the polypeptides of the other initiation factors or to any proteins of ribosomes washed in buffers containing a high salf concentration. A stoichiometric ratio of 1:1:1 was determined for the three polypeptides; based on the assumption of one copy each per complex, the calculated factor molecular weight is 145,000, a value in agreement with the measured value of 160,000. Initiation factor IF-E2 was radioactively labeled in vitro by reductive alkylation or by phosphorylation with a protein kinase also isolated from rabbit reticulocytes. Neither procedure causes a measurable change in the ability of the factor to form a ternary complex with GTP and the initiator methionyl-tRNA. 5'-Guanylyl-methylenediphosphonate may substitute for GTP, but only at relatively high concentrations. The binding of labeled initiation factor IF-E2 and methionyl-tRNA to the 40 S ribosomal subunit was studied by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Appreciable binding of the factor is seen only when all three components of the ternary complex are included in the reaction mixture. The binding of either the factor or methionyl-tRNA was not stimulated by the addition of globin messenger RNA and initiation factor IF-E3. It was shown that all three polypeptide components of initiation factor IF-E2 are bound to these nascent initiation complexes.  (+info)

(5/5305) Evolutionary dynamics of a mitochondrial rearrangement "hot spot" in the Hymenoptera.

The arrangement of tRNA genes at the junction of the cytochrome oxidase II and ATPase 8 genes was examined across a broad range of Hymenoptera. Seven distinct arrangements of tRNA genes were identified among a group of wasps that have diverged over the last 180 Myr (suborder Apocrita); many of the rearrangements represent evolutionarily independent events. Approximately equal proportions of local rearrangements, inversions, and translocations were observed, in contrast to vertebrate mitochondria, in which local rearrangements predominate. Surprisingly, homoplasy was evident among certain types of rearrangement; a reversal of the plesiomorphic gene order has arisen on three separate occasions in the Insecta, while the tRNA(H) gene has been translocated to this locus on two separate occasions. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that this gene translocation is real and is not an artifactual translocation resulting from the duplication of a resident tRNA gene followed by mutation of the anticodon. The nature of the intergenic sequences surrounding this region does not indicate that it should be especially prone to rearrangement; it does not generally have the tandem or inverted repeats that might facilitate this plasticity. Intriguingly, these findings are consistent with the view that during the evolution of the Hymenoptera, rearrangements increased at the same time that the rate of point mutations and compositional bias also increased. This association may direct investigations into mitochondrial genome plasticity in other invertebrate lineages.  (+info)

(6/5305) Concatemerization of tRNA molecules in the presence of trivaline derivative.

The interaction of tRNA with trivaline dansyl hydrazide trifluoroacetate (DHTV) has been studied. The shape of curves of fluorimetric titration of tRNA with DHTV and vice versa can be explained only by formation of DHTV dimers on tRNA molecules, and subsequent association of DHTV-saturated tRNA molecules with each other. The ability of tRNA molecules to form concatemers in solution in the presence of DHTV has been demonstrated by electron microscopy. Electron microscopy of the tRNA-DHTV complexes stained with uranyl acetate revealed flexible rods 6-7 nm thick and up to several micrometers long.  (+info)

(7/5305) Sequence of Shiga toxin 2 phage 933W from Escherichia coli O157:H7: Shiga toxin as a phage late-gene product.

Lysogenic bacteriophages are major vehicles for the transfer of genetic information between bacteria, including pathogenicity and/or virulence determinants. In the enteric pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7, which causes hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome, Shiga toxins 1 and 2 (Stx1 and Stx2) are phage encoded. The sequence and analysis of the Stx2 phage 933W is presented here. We find evidence that the toxin genes are part of a late-phage transcript, suggesting that toxin production may be coupled with, if not dependent upon, phage release during lytic growth. Another phage gene, stk, encodes a product resembling eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases. Based on its position in the sequence, Stk may be produced by the prophage in the lysogenic state, and, like the YpkA protein of Yersinia species, it may interfere with the signal transduction pathway of the mammalian host. Three novel tRNA genes present in the phage genome may serve to increase the availability of rare tRNA species associated with efficient expression of pathogenicity determinants: both the Shiga toxin and serine/threonine kinase genes contain rare isoleucine and arginine codons. 933W also has homology to lom, encoding a member of a family of outer membrane proteins associated with virulence by conferring the ability to survive in macrophages, and bor, implicated in serum resistance.  (+info)

(8/5305) How translational accuracy influences reading frame maintenance.

Most missense errors have little effect on protein function, since they only exchange one amino acid for another. However, processivity errors, frameshifting or premature termination result in a synthesis of an incomplete peptide. There may be a connection between missense and processivity errors, since processivity errors now appear to result from a second error occurring after recruitment of an errant aminoacyl-tRNA, either spontaneous dissociation causing premature termination or translational frameshifting. This is clearest in programmed translational frameshifting where the mRNA programs errant reading by a near-cognate tRNA; this error promotes a second frameshifting error (a dual-error model of frameshifting). The same mechanism can explain frameshifting by suppressor tRNAs, even those with expanded anticodon loops. The previous model that suppressor tRNAs induce quadruplet translocation now appears incorrect for most, and perhaps for all of them. We suggest that the 'spontaneous' tRNA-induced frameshifting and 'programmed' mRNA-induced frameshifting use the same mechanism, although the frequency of frameshifting is very different. This new model of frameshifting suggests that the tRNA is not acting as the yardstick to measure out the length of the translocation step. Rather, the translocation of 3 nucleotides may be an inherent feature of the ribosome.  (+info)