Recognition of a pre-tRNA substrate by the Bacillus subtilis RNase P holoenzyme

Loria, A.; Niranjanakumari, S.; Fierke, C.A.; Pan, T.

Biochemistry 37(44): 15466-15473


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-2960
PMID: 9799509
DOI: 10.1021/bi9816507
Accession: 009956024

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The holoenzyme of the bacterial RNase P has broader selectivity for biological substrates compared to the RNA alone (denoted P RNA) reaction. The structural basis of the substrate selectivity is investigated using a pre-tRNA substrate containing single-atom modifications by single turnover kinetics. Hydroxyl radical protection of the holoenzyme in the absence of the substrate shows that the RNase P protein binds to several regions in P RNA. The holoenzyme interacts with a subset of functional groups in the T stem-loop region of a pre-tRNA substrate previously identified to directly contact P RNA. The subtle change in structural recognition allows the holoenzyme to recognize RNA structures with only a small perturbation in an A-form helix at the corresponding position of the T stem-loop. This altered profile may permit the holoenzyme to bind non-tRNA substrates with little change in catalytic efficiency. The holoenzyme recognizes the same set of functional groups as the P RNA reaction in the region around the cleavage site and shows similar cleavage site selection compared to the P RNA reaction. These results suggest that the holoenzyme does not alter the fundamental mechanism of this enzymatic reaction. Rather, the holoenzyme significantly affects the binding affinity of an RNA substrate through additional interactions with the 5' leader [Kurz, C. A., Niranjanakumari, S., and Fierke, C. A. (1998) Biochemistry 37, 2393] and through altered recognition of the substrate structure.