Selenophosphate synthetase: Detection in extracts of rat tissues by immunoblot assay and partial purification of the enzyme from the archaean Methanococcus vannielii

Ick Young Kim, Thressa C. Stadtman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)


In Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium it has been shown that selenophosphate serves as the selenium donor for the conversion of seryl- tRNA to selenocysteyl-tRNA and for the synthesis of 2-selenouridine, a modified nucleoside present in tRNAs. Although selenocysteyl-tRNA also is formed in eukaryotes and is used for the specific insertion of selenocysteine into proteins, the precise mechanism of its biosynthesis from seryl-tRNA in these systems is not known. Because selenophosphate is extremely oxygen labile and difficult to identify in biological systems, we used an immunological approach to detect the possible presence of selenophosphate synthetase in mammalian tissues. With antibodies elicited to E. coli selenophosphate synthetase the enzyme was detected in extracts of rat brain, liver, kidney, and lung by immunoblotting. Especially high levels were detected in Methanococcus vannielii, a member of the domain Archeae, and the enzyme was partially purified from this source. It seems likely that the use of selenophosphate as a selenium donor is widespread in biological systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7710-7713
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Aug 15



  • mammalian selenophosphate synthetase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this