Section 19
Chapter 18,069

Processing of a multimeric tRNA precursor from Bacillus subtilis by the RNA component of RNase P

Vold, B.S.; Green, C.J.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 263(28): 14390-14396


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 3139656
Accession: 018068024

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Processing of multimeric precursor tRNAs from Bacillus subtilis by the catalytic RNA component of RNase P was studied in vitro. Previous studies on processing by either Escherichia coli or B. subtilis RNase P-RNA utilized monomeric or dimeric substrates. In the experiments described here, a multimeric precursor tRNA containing six complete tRNA sequences and the partial sequence of a seventh were used. One species did not encode the 3'-terminal CCA sequence and the partial tRNA lacked 3' nucleotides and could form only a 3-base pair instead of a 7-base paired aminoacyl stem. Two species had the potential for forming extended base-paired aminoacyl stems. Processing was studied under varied ionic conditions. Chemical sequencing of the products showed that the RNase P-RNA cleavage produced the proper mature 5' termini for all of the six complete tRNA species, but no 5'-cleavage of the partial species was observed. At suboptimal ionic concentrations, the two species capable of forming extended base-paired aminoacyl stems were not observed. Thus, encoding of the 3'-CCA in a tRNA species is not critical for processing, but the formation of an aminoacyl stem with more than 3 base pairs is necessary. Particularly noteworthy was the observation that all species of the multimeric precursor could be processed at significantly lower ionic conditions than monomeric precursors used previously by ourselves and others. However, a single precursor species produced from the multimeric precursor could also be processed at the same lower ionic conditions as the multimeric precursor. This demonstrates that precursor tRNA species can differ widely in their ionic requirements for processing and that, to a large extent, the optimal conditions of MgCl2 or NH4Cl are a function of the substrate which is used.

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