3 years ago

[ASAP] The Role of tRNA in Establishing New Genetic Codes

[ASAP] The Role of tRNA in Establishing New Genetic Codes
Ross Thyer, Andrew D. Ellington
One of the most remarkable, but typically unremarked, aspects of the translation apparatus is the pleiotropic pliability of tRNA. This humble cloverleaf/L-shaped molecule must implement the first genetic code, via base pairing and wobble interactions, but is also largely responsible for the specificity of the second genetic code, the pairings between amino acids, tRNA synthetases, and tRNAs. Despite the overarching similarities between tRNAs, they must nonetheless be specifically recognized by cognate tRNA synthetases and largely rejected by noncognate synthetases. Conversely, despite the differences between tRNAs that allow such discrimination, they must be uniformly accepted by the ribosome, in part via the machinations of the translation elongation factors, which work with a diverse coterie of tRNA–amino acid conjugates to balance binding and loading. While it is easy to ascribe both discrimination and acceptance to the individual proteins (synthetases and EF-Tu/eEF-1) that recognize tRNAs, there is a large body of evidence that suggests that the sequences, structures, and dynamics of tRNAs are instrumental in the choices these proteins make.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00834

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00834

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