A naturally occurring mini-alanyl-tRNA synthetase

Titi Rindi Antika, Dea Jolie Chrestella, Yi Kuan Tseng, Yi Hung Yeh, Chwan Deng Hsiao, Chien Chia Wang

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3 Scopus citations


Alanyl-tRNA synthetase (AlaRS) retains a conserved prototype structure throughout its biology, consisting of catalytic, tRNA-recognition, editing, and C-Ala domains. The catalytic and tRNA-recognition domains catalyze aminoacylation, the editing domain hydrolyzes mischarged tRNAAla, and C-Ala―the major tRNA-binding module―targets the elbow of the L-shaped tRNAAla. Interestingly, a mini-AlaRS lacking the editing and C-Ala domains is recovered from the Tupanvirus of the amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii. Here we show that Tupanvirus AlaRS (TuAlaRS) is phylogenetically related to its host’s AlaRS. Despite lacking the conserved amino acid residues responsible for recognition of the identity element of tRNAAla (G3:U70), TuAlaRS still specifically recognized G3:U70-containing tRNAAla. In addition, despite lacking C-Ala, TuAlaRS robustly binds and charges microAla (an RNA substrate corresponding to the acceptor stem of tRNAAla) as well as tRNAAla, indicating that TuAlaRS exclusively targets the acceptor stem. Moreover, this mini-AlaRS could functionally substitute for yeast AlaRS in vivo. This study suggests that TuAlaRS has developed a new tRNA-binding mode to compensate for the loss of C-Ala.

Original languageEnglish
Article number314
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


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