Recognition of tRNAs by Methionyl-tRNA transformylase from mammalian mitochondria.

Abstract : Protein synthesis involves two methionine-isoaccepting tRNAs, an initiator and an elongator. In eubacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts, the addition of a formyl group gives its full functional identity to initiator Met-tRNA(Met). In Escherichia coli, it has been shown that the specific action of methionyl-tRNA transformylase on Met-tRNA(f)(Met) mainly involves a set of nucleotides in the acceptor stem, particularly a C(1)A(72) mismatch. In animal mitochondria, only one tRNA(Met) species has yet been described. It is admitted that this species can engage itself either in initiation or elongation of translation, depending on the presence or absence of a formyl group. In the present study, we searched for the identity elements of tRNA(Met) that govern its formylation by bovine mitochondrial transformylase. The main conclusion is that the mitochondrial formylase preferentially recognizes the methionyl moiety of its tRNA substrate. Moreover, the relatively small importance of the tRNA acceptor stem in the recognition process accounts for the protection against formylation of the mitochondrial tRNAs that share with tRNA(Met) an A(1)U(72) motif.
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N. Takeuchi, L. Vial, Michel Panvert, Emmanuelle Schmitt, K. Watanabe, et al.. Recognition of tRNAs by Methionyl-tRNA transformylase from mammalian mitochondria.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2001, 276 (23), pp.20064-8. ⟨10.1074/jbc.M101007200⟩. ⟨hal-00770925⟩

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