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Article

Adaptation of the Romanomermis culicivorax CCA-Adding Enzyme to Miniaturized Armless tRNA Substrates

1
Institute for Biochemistry, Leipzig University, Brüderstraße 34, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2
Architecture et Réactivité de l’ARN, Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, IBMC, 67084 Strasbourg, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(23), 9047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239047
Received: 29 October 2020 / Accepted: 25 November 2020 / Published: 28 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
The mitochondrial genome of the nematode Romanomermis culicivorax encodes for miniaturized hairpin-like tRNA molecules that lack D- as well as T-arms, strongly deviating from the consensus cloverleaf. The single tRNA nucleotidyltransferase of this organism is fully active on armless tRNAs, while the human counterpart is not able to add a complete CCA-end. Transplanting single regions of the Romanomermis enzyme into the human counterpart, we identified a beta-turn element of the catalytic core that—when inserted into the human enzyme—confers full CCA-adding activity on armless tRNAs. This region, originally identified to position the 3′-end of the tRNA primer in the catalytic core, dramatically increases the enzyme’s substrate affinity. While conventional tRNA substrates bind to the enzyme by interactions with the T-arm, this is not possible in the case of armless tRNAs, and the strong contribution of the beta-turn compensates for an otherwise too weak interaction required for the addition of a complete CCA-terminus. This compensation demonstrates the remarkable evolutionary plasticity of the catalytic core elements of this enzyme to adapt to unconventional tRNA substrates. View Full-Text
Keywords: CCA-adding enzyme; co-evolution; evolutionary plasticity; minimalized armless tRNAs; tRNA nucleotidyltransferase CCA-adding enzyme; co-evolution; evolutionary plasticity; minimalized armless tRNAs; tRNA nucleotidyltransferase
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hennig, O.; Philipp, S.; Bonin, S.; Rollet, K.; Kolberg, T.; Jühling, T.; Betat, H.; Sauter, C.; Mörl, M. Adaptation of the Romanomermis culicivorax CCA-Adding Enzyme to Miniaturized Armless tRNA Substrates. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 9047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239047

AMA Style

Hennig O, Philipp S, Bonin S, Rollet K, Kolberg T, Jühling T, Betat H, Sauter C, Mörl M. Adaptation of the Romanomermis culicivorax CCA-Adding Enzyme to Miniaturized Armless tRNA Substrates. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(23):9047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239047

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hennig, Oliver, Susanne Philipp, Sonja Bonin, Kévin Rollet, Tim Kolberg, Tina Jühling, Heike Betat, Claude Sauter, and Mario Mörl. 2020. "Adaptation of the Romanomermis culicivorax CCA-Adding Enzyme to Miniaturized Armless tRNA Substrates" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 21, no. 23: 9047. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21239047

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