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The Journal of biological chemistry

C-terminal Domain of Leucyl-tRNA Synthetase from Pathogenic Candida albicans Recognizes both tRNASer and tRNALeu.


PMID 26677220

Abstract

Leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS) is a multidomain enzyme that catalyzes Leu-tRNA(Leu) formation and is classified into bacterial and archaeal/eukaryotic types with significant diversity in the C-terminal domain (CTD). CTDs of both bacterial and archaeal LeuRSs have been reported to recognize tRNA(Leu) through different modes of interaction. In the human pathogen Candida albicans, the cytoplasmic LeuRS (CaLeuRS) is distinguished by its capacity to recognize a uniquely evolved chimeric tRNA(Ser) (CatRNA(Ser)(CAG)) in addition to its cognate CatRNA(Leu), leading to CUG codon reassignment. Our previous study showed that eukaryotic but not archaeal LeuRSs recognize this peculiar tRNA(Ser), suggesting the significance of their highly divergent CTDs in tRNA(Ser) recognition. The results of this study provided the first evidence of the indispensable function of the CTD of eukaryotic LeuRS in recognizing non-cognate CatRNA(Ser) and cognate CatRNA(Leu). Three lysine residues were identified as involved in mediating enzyme-tRNA interaction in the leucylation process: mutation of all three sites totally ablated the leucylation activity. The importance of the three lysine residues was further verified by gel mobility shift assays and complementation of a yeast leuS gene knock-out strain.

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