Transfer RNA modulates the editing mechanism used by class II prolyl-tRNA synthetase

The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Kathryn E SplanKarin Musier-Forsyth


Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases catalyze the attachment of amino acids to their cognate tRNAs. To prevent errors in protein synthesis, many synthetases have evolved editing pathways by which misactivated amino acids (pre-transfer editing) and misacylated tRNAs (post-transfer editing) are hydrolyzed. Previous studies have shown that class II prolyl-tRNA synthetase (ProRS) possesses both pre- and post-transfer editing functions against noncognate alanine. To assess the relative contributions of pre- and post-transfer editing, presented herein are kinetic studies of an Escherichia coli ProRS mutant in which post-transfer editing is selectively inactivated, effectively isolating the pre-transfer editing pathway. When post-transfer editing is abolished, substantial levels of alanine mischarging are observed under saturating amino acid conditions, indicating that pre-transfer editing alone cannot prevent the formation of Ala-tRNA Pro. Steady-state kinetic parameters for aminoacylation measured under these conditions reveal that the preference for proline over alanine is 2000-fold, which is well within the regime where editing is required. Simultaneous measurement of AMP and Ala-tRNA Pro formation in the presence of tRNA Pro suggested that...Continue Reading


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