A motif in human histidyl-tRNA synthetase which is shared among several aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases is a coiled-coil that is essential for enzymatic activity and contains the major autoantigenic epitope
Raben, N.; Nichols, R.; Dohlman, J.; McPhie, P.; Sridhar, V.; Hyde, C.; Leff, R.; Plotz, P.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 269(39): 24277-24283
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258 PMID: 7523371 Accession: 008048491
In myositis, disease-specific autoantibodies may be directed against an aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, usually histidyl-tRNA synthetase. To explore the basis for this phenomenon, we have made recombinant histidyl-tRNA synthetase in the baculovirus system. It was enzymatically active and recognized by human autoantibodies. A truncated protein lacking the first 60 amino acids was inactive as an antigen and as an enzyme. This region is within the first two exons, is predicted to have a coiled-coil configuration, and is found in some other synthetases but not in Escherichia coli or yeast histidyl-tRNA synthetase. Circular dichroism showed that the peptides from this region (amino acids 1-60 and 1-47) have the predicted high alpha-helical content, but smaller fragments (1-30, 14-45, and 31-60) do not. The peptides with a high alpha-helical content could inhibit autoantibodies almost completely, whereas the smaller peptides were unable to do so. The amino acid sequence of this coiled-coil domain in human histidyl-tRNA synthetase resembles the sequence of the extended this coiled-coil arm near the NH2 terminus of bacterial seryl-tRNA synthetase as well as similar regions in some eukaryotic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, raising the possibility that this domain serves a similar tRNA-stabilizing role and has been preserved from a common ancestor.