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Biomolecules 2017, 7(1), 33; doi:10.3390/biom7010033

Diverse Mechanisms of Sulfur Decoration in Bacterial tRNA and Their Cellular Functions

1
Department of Chemistry, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27101, USA
2
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, NY 10065, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Valérie de Crécy-Lagard
Received: 6 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue tRNA Modifications: Synthesis, Function and Beyond)
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Abstract

Sulfur-containing transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNAs) are ubiquitous biomolecules found in all organisms that possess a variety of functions. For decades, their roles in processes such as translation, structural stability, and cellular protection have been elucidated and appreciated. These thionucleosides are found in all types of bacteria; however, their biosynthetic pathways are distinct among different groups of bacteria. Considering that many of the thio-tRNA biosynthetic enzymes are absent in Gram-positive bacteria, recent studies have addressed how sulfur trafficking is regulated in these prokaryotic species. Interestingly, a novel proposal has been given for interplay among thionucleosides and the biosynthesis of other thiocofactors, through participation of shared-enzyme intermediates, the functions of which are impacted by the availability of substrate as well as metabolic demand of thiocofactors. This review describes the occurrence of thio-modifications in bacterial tRNA and current methods for detection of these modifications that have enabled studies on the biosynthesis and functions of S-containing tRNA across bacteria. It provides insight into potential modes of regulation and potential evolutionary events responsible for divergence in sulfur metabolism among prokaryotes. View Full-Text
Keywords: tRNA; thionucleoside; 2-thiouridine; 4-thiouridine; 2-methylthioadenosine; cysteine desulfurases; thiouridylase; thiocofactor tRNA; thionucleoside; 2-thiouridine; 4-thiouridine; 2-methylthioadenosine; cysteine desulfurases; thiouridylase; thiocofactor
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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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Zheng, C.; Black, K.A.; Dos Santos, P.C. Diverse Mechanisms of Sulfur Decoration in Bacterial tRNA and Their Cellular Functions. Biomolecules 2017, 7, 33.

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