Reference: Montanari A, et al. (2011) Structural and functional role of bases 32 and 33 in the anticodon loop of yeast mitochondrial tRNAIle. RNA 17(11):1983-96

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Abstract


Previous work has demonstrated the usefulness of the yeast model to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying defects due to base substitutions in mitochondrial tRNA genes, and to identify suppressing molecules endowed with potential clinical relevance. The present paper extends these investigations to two human equivalent yeast mutations located at positions 32 and 33 in the anticodon loop of tRNA(Ile). Notwithstanding the proximity of the two T>C base substitutions, the effects of these mutations have been found to be quite different in yeast, as they are in human. The T32C substitution has a very severe effect in yeast, consisting in a complete inhibition of growth on nonfermentable substrates. Conversely, respiratory defects caused by the T33C mutation could only be observed in a defined genetic context. Analyses of available sequences and selected tRNA three-dimensional structures were performed to provide explanations for the different behavior of these adjacent mutations. Examination of the effects of previously identified suppressors demonstrated that overexpression of the TUF1 gene did not rescue the defective phenotypes determined by either mutation, possibly as a consequence of the lack of interactions between EF-Tu and the tRNA anticodon arm in known structures. On the contrary, both the cognate IleRS and the noncognate LeuRS and ValRS are endowed with suppressing activities toward both mutations. This allows us to extend to the tRNA(Ile) mutants the cross-suppression activity of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases previously demonstrated for tRNA(Leu) and tRNA(Val) mutants.

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Montanari A, De Luca C, Di Micco P, Morea V, Frontali L, Francisci S
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