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Life 2016, 6(1), 13; doi:10.3390/life6010013

From Prebiotics to Probiotics: The Evolution and Functions of tRNA Modifications

1
The Center for RNA Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2
The Ohio State Biochemistry Program, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3
Department of Microbiology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Adrian Gabriel Torres and David Deamer
Received: 11 January 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2016 / Accepted: 7 March 2016 / Published: 14 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Evolution of tRNA)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2141 KB, uploaded 14 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

All nucleic acids in cells are subject to post-transcriptional chemical modifications. These are catalyzed by a myriad of enzymes with exquisite specificity and that utilize an often-exotic array of chemical substrates. In no molecule are modifications more prevalent than in transfer RNAs. In the present document, we will attempt to take a chemical rollercoaster ride from prebiotic times to the present, with nucleoside modifications as key players and tRNA as the centerpiece that drove the evolution of biological systems to where we are today. These ideas will be put forth while touching on several examples of tRNA modification enzymes and their modus operandi in cells. In passing, we submit that the choice of tRNA is not a whimsical one but rather highlights its critical function as an essential invention for the evolution of protein enzymes. View Full-Text
Keywords: tRNA modification; evolution; genetic code tRNA modification; evolution; genetic code
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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McKenney, K.M.; Alfonzo, J.D. From Prebiotics to Probiotics: The Evolution and Functions of tRNA Modifications. Life 2016, 6, 13.

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