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Presence and location of modified nucleotides in Escherichia coli tmRNA: structural mimicry with tRNA acceptor branches.

Abstract : Escherichia coli tmRNA functions uniquely as both tRNA and mRNA and possesses structural elements similar to canonical tRNAs. To test whether this mimicry extends to post-transcriptional modification, the technique of combined liquid chromatography/ electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC/ESIMS) and sequence data were used to determine the molecular masses of all oligonucleotides produced by RNase T1 hydrolysis with a mean error of 0.1 Da. Thus, this allowed for the detection, chemical characterization and sequence placement of modified nucleotides which produced a change in mass. Also, chemical modifications were used to locate mass-silent modifications. The native E.coli tmRNA contains two modified nucleosides, 5-methyluridine and pseudouridine. Both modifications are located within the proposed tRNA-like domain, in a seven-nucleotide loop mimicking the conserved sequence of T loops in canonical tRNAs. Although tmRNA acceptor branches (acceptor stem and T stem-loop) utilize different architectural rules than those of canonical tRNAs, their conformations in solution may be very similar. A comparative structural and functional analysis of unmodified tmRNA made by in vitro transcription and native E.coli tmRNA suggests that one or both of these post-transcriptional modifications may be required for optimal stability of the acceptor branch which is needed for efficient aminoacylation.
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Brice Felden, Kyoko Hanawa, John F. Atkins, Hyouta Himeno, Akira Muto, et al.. Presence and location of modified nucleotides in Escherichia coli tmRNA: structural mimicry with tRNA acceptor branches.. EMBO Journal, EMBO Press, 1998, 17 (11), pp.3188-96. ⟨10.1093/emboj/17.11.3188⟩. ⟨inserm-00719626⟩



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