[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To ensure a high fidelity during translation, threonyl-tRNA synthetases (ThrRSs) harbor an editing domain that removes noncognate L-serine attached to tRNAThr. Most archaeal ThrRSs possess a unique editing domain structurally similar to D-aminoacyl-tRNA deacylases (DTDs) found in eubacteria and eukaryotes that specifically removes D-amino acids attached to tRNA. Here, we provide mechanistic insights into the removal of noncognate L-serine from tRNAThr by a DTD-like editing module from Pyrococcus abyssi ThrRS (Pab-NTD). High-resolution crystal structures of Pab-NTD with pre- and post-transfer substrate analogs and with L-serine show mutually nonoverlapping binding sites for the seryl moiety. Although the pre-transfer editing is excluded, the analysis reveals the importance of main chain atoms in proper positioning of the post-transfer substrate for its hydrolysis. A single residue has been shown to play a pivotal role in the inversion of enantioselectivity both in Pab-NTD and DTD. The study identifies an enantioselectivity checkpoint that filters opposite chiral molecules and thus provides a fascinating example of how nature has subtly engineered this domain for the selection of chiral molecules during translation.
The EMBO Journal 10/2006; 25(17):4152-62. DOI:10.1038/sj.emboj.7601278 · 10.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the crystal structure of an archaea-specific editing domain of threonyl-tRNA synthetase that reveals a marked structural similarity to D-amino acid deacylases found in eubacteria and eukaryotes. The domain can bind D-amino acids despite a low sequence identity to other D-amino acid deacylases. These results together indicate the presence of these deacylases in all three kingdoms of life. This underlines an important role they may have played in enforcing homochirality during translation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Threonyl-tRNA synthetase (ThrRS) faces a crucial double-discrimination problem during the translation of genetic code. Most ThrRSs from the archaeal kingdom possess a unique editing domain that differs from those of eubacteria and eukaryotes. In order to understand the structural basis of the editing mechanism in archaea, the editing module of ThrRS from Pyrococcus abyssi comprising of the first 183 amino-acid residues was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized. The crystals belong to the trigonal space group P3(1(2))21, with one molecule in the asymmetric unit.