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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic and biochemical analysis of the functional domains of yeast tRNA ligase.

Yeast tRNA ligase (Trl1) converts cleaved tRNA half-molecules into spliced tRNAs containing a 2'-PO4, 3'-5' phosphodiester at the splice junction. Trl1 performs three reactions: (i) the 2',3'-cyclic phosphate of the proximal fragment is hydrolyzed to a 3'-OH, 2'-PO4 by a cyclic phosphodiesterase (CPD); (ii) the 5'-OH of the distal fragment is phosphorylated by an NTP-dependent polynucleotide kinase; and (iii) the 3'-OH, 2'-PO4, and 5'-PO4 ends are sealed by an ATP-dependent RNA ligase. Trl1 consists of an N-terminal adenylyltransferase domain that resembles T4 RNA ligase 1, a central domain that resembles T4 polynucleotide kinase, and a C-terminal CPD domain that resembles the 2H phosphotransferase enzyme superfamily. Here we show that all three domains are essential in vivo, although they need not be linked in the same polypeptide. We identify five amino acids in the adenylyltransferase domain (Lys114, Glu266, Gly267, Lys284, and Lys286) that are essential for Trl1 activity and are located within motifs I (114KANG117), IV (266EGFVI270), and V (282FFKIK286) that comprise the active sites of DNA ligases, RNA capping enzymes, and T4 RNA ligases 1 and 2. Mutations K404A and T405A in the P-loop (401GXGKT405) of the central kinase-like domain had no effect on Trl1 function in vivo. The K404A and T405A mutations eliminated ATP-dependent kinase activity but preserved GTP-dependent kinase activity. A double alanine mutant in the P-loop was lethal in vivo and abolished GTP-dependent kinase activity. These results suggest that GTP is the physiological substrate and that the Trl1 kinase has a single NTP binding site of which the P-loop is a component. Two other mutations in the central domain were lethal in vivo and either abolished (D425A) or severely reduced (R511A) GTP-dependent RNA kinase activity in vitro. Mutations of the signature histidines of the CPD domain were either lethal (H777A) or conferred a ts growth phenotype (H673A).[1]


  1. Genetic and biochemical analysis of the functional domains of yeast tRNA ligase. Sawaya, R., Schwer, B., Shuman, S. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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