Dec 29, 1975

Aminoacyl transfer from an adenylate anhydride to polyribonucleotides

Journal of Molecular Evolution
A L Weber, J C Lacey


Imidazole catalysis of phenylalanyl transfer from phenylalanine adenylate anhydride to the hydroxyl groups of homopolyribonucleotides was investigated as a chemical model of the biochemical aminoacylation of tRNA. Imidazole catalyzed transfer of phenylalanine to poly(U) increases from pH 6.5 to 7.7 and decreases above pH 7.7. At pH 7.7 approximately 10% of the phenylalanyl residues are transferred to poly(U). At pH 7.1, transfer to poly(U) was five times as great as to poly(A) and transfer to a poly(A) poly(U) double helix was negligible. At pH 7.1 approximately 45 mole percent linkages to poly(U) were monomeric phenylalanine; the remainder of the linkages were peptides of phenylalanine. The number of linkages and their lability to base and neutral hydroxylamine indicates that phenylalanine and its peptides are attached as esters to the 2' hydroxyl groups throughout poly(U) and the 2' (3') hydroxyl groups at the terminus of poly(U). These results do model the contemporary process of aminoacyl transfer to tRNA and continue to suggest that a histidine residue is in the active site of aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetases.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Adenine Polynucleotides
Transfer RNA
Poly U
5'-Adenylic Acid
Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases

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