Trans-kingdom rescue of Gln-tRNAGln synthesis in yeast cytoplasm and mitochondria

Chih Chi Liao, Chen Huan Lin, Shun Jia Chen, Chien Chia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Aminoacylation of transfer RNAGln (tRNAGln) is performed by distinct mechanisms in different kingdoms and represents the most diverged route of aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis found in nature. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, cytosolic Gln-tRNAGln is generated by direct glutaminylation of tRNAGln by glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS), whereas mitochondrial Gln-tRNAGln is formed by an indirect pathway involving charging by a non-discriminating glutamyl-tRNA synthetase and the subsequent transamidation by a specific Glu-tRNAGln amidotransferase. Previous studies showed that fusion of a yeast non-specific tRNA-binding cofactor, Arc1p, to Escherichia coli GlnRS enables the bacterial enzyme to substitute for its yeast homologue in vivo. We report herein that the same fusion enzyme, upon being imported into mitochondria, substituted the indirect pathway for Gln-tRNAGln synthesis as well, despite significant differences in the identity determinants of E. coli and yeast cytosolic and mitochondrial tRNAGln isoacceptors. Fusion of Arc1p to the bacterial enzyme significantly enhanced its aminoacylation activity towards yeast tRNAGln isoacceptors in vitro. Our study provides a mechanism by which trans-kingdom rescue of distinct pathways of Gln-tRNAGln synthesis can be conferred by a single enzyme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9171-9181
Number of pages11
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 2012


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