In archaea, RNA endonucleases that act specifically on RNA with bulge-helix-bulge motifs play the main role in the recognition and excision of introns, while the eukaryal enzymes use a measuring mechanism to determine the positions of the universally positioned splice sites relative to the conserved domain of pre-tRNA. Two crystallographic structures of tRNA intron-splicing endonuclease from Thermoplasma acidophilum DSM 1728 (EndA Ta have been solved to 2.5-Å and 2.7-Å resolution by molecular replacement, using the 2.7-Å resolution data as the initial model and the single-wavelength anomalous-dispersion phasing method using selenomethionine as anomalous signals, respectively. The models show that EndA Ta is a homodimer and that it has overall folding similar to that of other archaeal tRNA endonucleases. From structural and mutational analyses of H236A, Y229F, and K265I in vitro, we have demonstrated that they play critical roles in recognizing the splice site and in cleaving the pre-tRNA substrate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology