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(1/104) tRNAVal-heterodimeric maxizymes with high potential as geneinactivating agents: simultaneous cleavage at two sites in HIV-1 Tat mRNA in cultured cells.

It has been demonstrated that shortened forms of (stem II-deleted) hammerhead ribozymes with low intrinsic activity form very active dimers with a common stem II (very active short ribozymes capable of forming dimers were designated maxizymes). Intracellular activities of heterodimeric maxizymes and conventional ribozymes, under the control of a human tRNAVal-promoter, were compared against the cleavage of HIV-1 tat mRNA. The pol III-driven maxizymes formed very active heterodimers, and they successfully cleaved HIV-1 tat mRNA in mammalian cells at two sites simultaneously. The cleaved fragments were identified directly by Northern blotting analysis. Despite the initial concerns that a complicated dimerization process and formation of inactive homodimers were involved in addition to the process of association with the target, the overall intracellular activities of tRNAVal-driven maxizymes were significantly higher in mammalian cells than those of two sets of independent, conventional hammerhead ribozymes that were targeted at the same two sites within HIV-1 tat mRNA. Because the tRNAVal-driven maxizymes tested to date have been more effective than tRNAVal-driven "standard" hammerhead ribozymes, the tRNAVal-driven heterodimeric maxizymes appear to have potential utility as gene-inactivating agents.  (+info)

(2/104) The early history of modern birds inferred from DNA sequences of nuclear and mitochondrial ribosomal genes.

The traditional view of avian evolution places ratites and tinamous at the base of the phylogenetic tree of modern birds (Neornithes). In contrast, most recent molecular studies suggest that neognathous perching birds (Passeriformes) compose the oldest lineage of modern birds. Here, we report significant molecular support for the traditional view of neognath monophyly based on sequence analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA (4.4 kb) from every modern avian order. Phylogenetic analyses further show that the ducks and gallinaceous birds are each other's closest relatives and together form the basal lineage of neognathous birds. To investigate why other molecular studies sampling fewer orders have reached different conclusions regarding neognath monophyly, we performed jackknife analyses on our mitochondrial data. Those analyses indicated taxon-sampling effects when basal galloanserine birds were included in combination with sparse taxon sampling. Our phylogenetic results suggest that the earliest neornithines were heavy-bodied, ground-dwelling, nonmarine birds. This inference, coupled with a fossil bias toward marine environments, provides a possible explanation for the large gap in the early fossil record of birds.  (+info)

(3/104) Misactivated amino acids translocate at similar rates across surface of a tRNA synthetase.

Certain aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases have a second active site that destroys (by hydrolysis) errors of amino acid activation. For example, isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase misactivates valine (to produce valyl adenylate or Val-tRNA(Ile)) at its active site. The misactivated amino acid is then translocated to an editing site located >25 A away. The role of the misactivated amino acid in determining the rate of translocation is not known. Valyl-tRNA synthetase, a close homolog of isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase, misactivates threonine, alpha-aminobutyrate, and cysteine. In this paper, we use a recently developed fluorescence-energy-transfer assay to study translocation of misactivated threonine, alpha-aminobutyrate, and cysteine. Although their rates of misactivation are clearly distinct, their rates of translocation are similar. Thus, the rate of translocation is independent of the nature of the misactivated amino acid. This result suggests that the misactivated amino acid per se has little or no role in directing translocation.  (+info)

(4/104) Heterologous mischarging as a means of tRNA fractionation. I. Behaviour of E. coli phenylalanyl-tRNA(1Val) on BD-cellulose.

The chromatographic behaviour of E.coli tRNA(Val) (1), Val-tRNA(Val) (1) and Phe-tRNA(Val) (1) was studied on BD-cellulose columns. At pH 4.0 and 4 degrees C the elution position of Phe-tRNA(Val) (1) was not affected by the presence of absence of Mg(2+), whereas Val-tRNA(Val) (1) was slightly retarded when Mg(2+) was ommited. It is postulated that the amino acid and its nature influence the structure that the aminoacyl-tRNA assumes. Under suitable conditions the heteroaminoacylated Phe-tRNA(Val) (1) eluted significantly later than other tRNAs. This fact showed that heterologous mischarging can be a useful step in tRNA purification methods.  (+info)

(5/104) Mercury(II) binding to s4U in E. coli tRNA(Val).

The accessibility of the s(4)U base in native tRNA(Val) from E.coli was monitored by studying the binding of various mercurials. The relative binding order HgBr(2)[unk]HgCl(2)>>CH(3)HgOAc[unk]CH(3)HgCl[unk]PCMB parallels approximately the steric requirements of linear HgX(2) or RHgX compounds for S(N)2 displacement by sulfur, although other factors are operative. Para-chloromercuri-benzoate (PCMB) does not bind the thiolated nucleotide unless the tertiary structure of the tRNA is opened up by removal of Mg(2+) ions and heating to 40 degrees . Under these conditions, equilibrium dialysis measurements using (14)C-labeled PCMB showed one binding site (n = 0.93) with an association constant, K(1), of 9 x 10(4)M(-1).  (+info)

(6/104) The valine anticodon and valylatability of Peanut clump virus RNAs are not essential but provide a modest competitive advantage in plants.

The role of valine aminoacylation of the two genomic RNAs of Peanut clump virus (PCV) was studied by comparing the amplification in vivo of RNAs with GAC, GDeltaC, or CCA anticodons in the tRNA-like structure (TLS) present at the 3' end of each viral RNA. The PCV RNA1 TLS of isolate PCV2 possesses a GAC anticodon and is capable of highly efficient valylation, whereas the RNA2 TLS has a GDeltaC anticodon that does not support valylation. The presence in RNA1 of GDeltaC or CCA anticodons that conferred nonvalylatability resulted in about 2- to 4-fold and a 14- to 24-fold reduction, respectively, in RNA accumulations in tobacco BY-2 protoplasts inoculated with the RNA1 variants together with wild-type RNA2(GDeltaC). No differences in RNA levels were observed among protoplasts inoculated with the three variant RNA2s in the presence of wild-type RNA1(GAC). All combinations of valylatable and nonvalylatable RNAs 1 and 2 were similarly infectious in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, and viral RNAs accumulated to similar levels; all input TLS sequences were present unchanged in apical leaves. In direct competition experiments in N. benthamiana plants, however, both RNA1 and RNA2 with GAC valylatable anticodons outcompeted the nonvalylatable variants. We conclude that valylation provides a small but significant replicational advantage to both PCV RNAs. Sequence analysis of the TLS from RNA2 of a second PCV isolate, PO2A, revealed the presence of an intact GAC valine anticodon, suggesting that the differential valylation of the genomic RNAs of isolate PCV2 is not a general characteristic of PCV.  (+info)

(7/104) tRNA recognition of tRNA-guanine transglycosylase from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus horikoshii.

In the biosynthesis of archaeosine, archaeal tRNA-guanine transglycosylase (TGT) catalyzes the replacement of guanine at position 15 in the D loop of most tRNAs by a free precursor base. We examined the tRNA recognition of TGT from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus horikoshii. Mutational studies using variant tRNA(Val) transcripts revealed that both guanine and its location (position 15) were strictly recognized by TGT without any other sequence-specific requirements. It appeared that neither the global L-shaped structure of a tRNA nor the local conformation of the D loop contributed to recognition by TGT. A minihelix composed of the acceptor stem and D arm of tRNA(Val), designed as a potential minimal substrate, failed to serve as a substrate for TGT. Only a minihelix with mismatched nucleotides at the junction between the two domains served as a good substrate, suggesting that mismatched nucleotides in the helix provide the specific information that allows TGT to recognize the guanine in the D loop. Our findings indicate that the tRNA recognition requirements of P. horikoshii TGT are sufficiently limited and specific to allow the enzyme to recognize efficiently any tRNA species whose structure is not fully stabilized in an extremely high temperature environment.  (+info)

(8/104) Structural basis for double-sieve discrimination of L-valine from L-isoleucine and L-threonine by the complex of tRNA(Val) and valyl-tRNA synthetase.

Valyl-tRNA synthetase (ValRS) strictly discriminates the cognate L-valine from the larger L-isoleucine and the isosteric L-threonine by the tRNA-dependent "double sieve" mechanism. In this study, we determined the 2.9 A crystal structure of a complex of Thermus thermophilus ValRS, tRNA(Val), and an analog of the Val-adenylate intermediate. The analog is bound in a pocket, where Pro(41) allows accommodation of the Val and Thr moieties but precludes the Ile moiety (the first sieve), on the aminoacylation domain. The editing domain, which hydrolyzes incorrectly synthesized Thr-tRNA(Val), is bound to the 3' adenosine of tRNA(Val). A contiguous pocket was found to accommodate the Thr moiety, but not the Val moiety (the second sieve). Furthermore, another Thr binding pocket for Thr-adenylate hydrolysis was suggested on the editing domain.  (+info)