Exclusive cytosolic localization and broad tRNASer specificity of Arabidopsis thaliana seryl-tRNA synthetase
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Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) decipher the genetic code, covalently linking amino acids to cognate tRNAs, thus preparing substrates for the process of translation. Although aaRSs funtion primarily in translation and are localized in cytosol, mitochondria and chloroplasts there are many reports on their additional functions and subcellular destinations beyond translation. However, data on plant aaRSs are scarce. Initial analysis of amino acid sequence of Arabidopsis thaliana seryl-tRNA synthetase (SerRS) suggested that protein contains putative nuclear localization signals. GFP-localization experiments in transiently transformed epidermal onion cells and Arabidopsis protoplasts gave ambiguous results because in some cells SerRS appeared to be dually localized to both cytosol and nucleus. However, data obtained on transgenic lines expressing SerRS-TAP and GFP-SerRS revealed exclusive cytosolic location of SerRS. Subcellular distribution of SerRS did not change during stress. Cytosolic Arabidopsis SerRS was expressed and purified. The enzyme efficiently aminoacylated eukaryotic and bacterial tRNAsSer, that are structurally very different. Given the fact that the same behavior was previously shown for monocot maize SerRS, it seems that plant SerRSs exhibit unusually broad tRNASer specificity, unlike SerRSs from other organisms. Possible functional implications of this unique characteristic of plant SerRSs are discussed.
Key wordsAminoacyl-tRNA synthetase Arabidopsis plant seryl-tRNA synthetase Subcellular localization tRNA
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