Title

Structure and function of initiator methionine tRNA from the mitochondria of neurospora crassa

Abstract

Initiator methionine tRNA from the mitochondria of Neurospora crassa has been purified and sequenced. This mitochondrial tRNA can be aminoacylated and formylated by E. coli enzymes, and is capable of initiating protein synthesis in E. coli extracts. The nucleotide composition of the mitochondrial initiator tRNA (the first mitochondrial tRNA subjected to sequence analysis) is very rich in A + U, like that reported for total mitochondrial tRNA. In two of the unique features which differentiate procaryotic from eucaryotic cytoplasmic initiator tRNAs, the mitochondrial tRNA appears to resemble the eucaryotic initiator tRNAs. Thus unlike procaryotic initiator tRNAs in which the 5′ terminal nucleotide cannot form a Watson-Crick base pair to the fifth nucleotide from the 3′ end, the mitochondrial tRNA can form such a base pair; and like the eucaryotic cytoplasmic initiator tRNAs, the mitochondrial initiator tRNA lacks the sequence -TΨCG(or A) in loop IV. The corresponding sequence in the mitochondrial tRNA, however, is -UGCA- and not -AU(or Ψ)CG-as found in all eucaryotic cytoplasmic initiator tRNAs. In spite of some similarity of the mitochondrial initiator tRNA to both eucaryotic and procaryotic initiator tRNAs, the mitochondrial initiator tRNA is basically different from both these tRNAs. Between these two classes of initiator tRNAs, however, it is more homologous in sequence to procaryotic (56-60%) than to eucaryotic cytoplasmic initiator tRNAs (45-51%). © 1978.

Publication Title

Cell

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