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

Binding interactions between yeast tRNA ligase and a precursor transfer ribonucleic acid containing two photoreactive uridine analogues.

Yeast tRNA ligase, from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is one of the protein components that is involved in the splicing reaction of intron-containing yeast precursor tRNAs. It is an unusual protein because it has three distinct catalytic activities. It functions as a polynucleotide kinase, as a cyclic phosphodiesterase, and as an RNA ligase. We have studied the binding interactions between ligase and precursor tRNAs containing two photoreactive uridine analogues, 4-thiouridine and 5-bromouridine. When irradiated with long ultraviolet light, RNA containing these analogues can form specific covalent bonds with associated proteins. In this paper, we show that 4-thiouridine triphosphate and 5-bromouridine triphosphate were readily incorporated into a precursor tRNA(Phe) that was synthesized, in vitro, with bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase. The analogue-containing precursor tRNAs were authentic substrates for the two splicing enzymes that were tested ( endonuclease and ligase), and they formed specific covalent bonds with ligase when they were irradiated with long-wavelength ultraviolet light. We have determined the position of three major cross-links and one minor cross-link on precursor tRNA(Phe) that were located within the intron and near the 3' splice site. On the basis of these data, we present a model for the in vivo splicing reaction of yeast precursor tRNAs.[1]


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