Sequence motif within trypanosome precursor tRNAs influences abundance and mitochondrial localization
Sherrer, R. Lynn
Yermovsky-Kammerer, Audra E.
Hajduk, Stephen L.
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Trypanosoma brucei lacks mitochondrial genes encoding tRNAs and must import nuclearly encoded tRNAs from the cytosol. The mechanism and specificity of this process remain unclear. We have identified a unique sequence motif, YGG(C/A)RRC, upstream of the genes encoding mitochondrially localized tRNAs in T. brucei. Both in vitro import studies and in vivo transfection studies indicate that deletion of the YGG(C/A)RRC sequence alters mitochondrial localization of tRNALeu, and in vivo studies also show a decrease in the cellular abundance of tRNALeu. These studies provide direct evidence for cis-acting RNA motifs within precursor tRNAs that facilitate the selection of tRNAs for mitochondrial import in trypanosomes. Furthermore, we found that mutations to the YGG(C/A)RRC sequence also altered the intracellular distribution of other endogenous tRNAs, suggesting a general role for this sequence in tRNA trafficking in trypanosomes.
Author Posting. © American Society for Microbiology, 2003. This article is posted here by permission of American Society for Microbiology for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Molecular and Cellular Biology 23 (2003): 9061-9072, doi:10.1128/MCB.23.24.9061-9072.2003.
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