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Open AccessFeature PaperReview

The Versatile Roles of the tRNA Epitranscriptome during Cellular Responses to Toxic Exposures and Environmental Stress

1
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2
RNA Institute, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA
3
College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12203, USA
4
Antimicrobial Resistance Interdisciplinary Research Group, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore 138602, Singapore
5
Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Laboratory of Toxicology, ETH Zürich, Zürich 8092, Switzerland.
Toxics 2019, 7(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7010017
Received: 4 March 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 25 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomarkers of Environmental Toxicants)
Living organisms respond to environmental changes and xenobiotic exposures by regulating gene expression. While heat shock, unfolded protein, and DNA damage stress responses are well-studied at the levels of the transcriptome and proteome, tRNA-mediated mechanisms are only recently emerging as important modulators of cellular stress responses. Regulation of the stress response by tRNA shows a high functional diversity, ranging from the control of tRNA maturation and translation initiation, to translational enhancement through modification-mediated codon-biased translation of mRNAs encoding stress response proteins, and translational repression by stress-induced tRNA fragments. tRNAs need to be heavily modified post-transcriptionally for full activity, and it is becoming increasingly clear that many aspects of tRNA metabolism and function are regulated through the dynamic introduction and removal of modifications. This review will discuss the many ways that nucleoside modifications confer high functional diversity to tRNAs, with a focus on tRNA modification-mediated regulation of the eukaryotic response to environmental stress and toxicant exposures. Additionally, the potential applications of tRNA modification biology in the development of early biomarkers of pathology will be highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: epitranscriptomics; tRNA modifications; stress response mechanisms; codon-biased translation epitranscriptomics; tRNA modifications; stress response mechanisms; codon-biased translation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Huber, S.M.; Leonardi, A.; Dedon, P.C.; Begley, T.J. The Versatile Roles of the tRNA Epitranscriptome during Cellular Responses to Toxic Exposures and Environmental Stress. Toxics 2019, 7, 17.

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