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Absence of a universal element for tRNAHis identity in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

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Absence of a universal element for tRNAHis identity in Acanthamoeba castellanii.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Dec 14;

Authors: Rao BS, Mohammad F, Gray MW, Jackman JE

Abstract
The additional G(-1) nucleotide on tRNA(His) is a nearly universal feature that specifies tRNA(His) identity in all three domains of life. In eukaryotes, the G(-1) identity element is obtained by a post-transcriptional pathway, through the unusual 3′-5′ polymerase activity of the highly conserved tRNA(His) guanylyltransferase (Thg1) enzyme, and no examples of eukaryotic histidyl-tRNAs that lack this essential element have been identified. Here we report that the eukaryote Acanthamoeba castellanii lacks the G(-1) identity element on its tRNA(His), consistent with the lack of a gene encoding a bona fide Thg1 ortholog in the A. castellanii genome. Moreover, the cytosolic histidyl-tRNA synthetase in A. castellanii exhibits an unusual tRNA substrate specificity, efficiently aminoacylating tRNA(His) regardless of the presence of G(-1). A. castellanii does contain two Thg1-related genes (encoding Thg1-like proteins, TLPs), but the biochemical properties we associate here with these proteins are consistent with a function for these TLPs in separate pathways unrelated to tRNA(His) metabolism, such as mitochondrial tRNA repair during 5′-editing.

PMID: 23241387 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]