Phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase editing defects result in efficient mistranslation of phenylalanine codons as tyrosine
Ling, J.; Yadavalli, S.S.; Ibba, M.
Rna 13(11): 1881-1886
Translational quality control is monitored at several steps, including substrate selection by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs), and discrimination of aminoacyl-tRNAs by elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) and the ribosome. Phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (PheRS) misactivates Tyr but is able to correct the mistake using a proofreading activity named editing. Previously we found that overproduction of editing-defective PheRS resulted in Tyr incorporation at Phe-encoded positions in vivo, although the misreading efficiency could not be estimated. This raised the question as to whether or not EF-Tu and the ribosome provide further proofreading mechanisms to prevent mistranslation of Phe codons by Tyr. Here we show that, after evading editing by PheRS, Tyr-tRNA(Phe) is recognized by EF-Tu as efficiently as the cognate Phe-tRNA(Phe). Kinetic decoding studies using full-length Tyr-tRNA(Phe) and Phe-tRNA(Phe), as well as a poly(U)-directed polyTyr/polyPhe synthesis assay, indicate that the ribosome lacks discrimination between Tyr-tRNA(Phe) and Phe-tRNA(Phe). Taken together, these data suggest that PheRS editing is the major proofreading step that prevents infiltration of Tyr into Phe codons during translation.