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Journal Articles European Journal of Biochemistry Year : 1997

General structure/function properties of microbial methionyl-tRNA synthetases.


Alignment of the sequences of methionyl-tRNA synthetases from various microbial sources shows low levels of identities. However, sequence identities are clustered in a limited number of sites, most of which contain peptide patterns known to support the activity of the Escherichia coli enzyme. In the present study, site-directed mutagenesis was used to probe the role of these conserved residues in the case of the Bacillus stearothermophilus methionyl-tRNA synthetase. The B. stearothermophilus enzyme was chosen in this study because it can be produced as an active truncated monomeric form, similar to the monomeric derivative of E. coli methionyl-tRNA synthetase produced by mild proteolysis. The two core enzyme molecules share only 27% identical residues. The results allowed the identification of the binding sites for ATP, methionine and tRNA, as well as that responsible for the tight binding of the zinc ion to the enzyme. It is concluded that the thermostable synthetase adopts a three-dimensional folding very similar to that of the E. coli one. Therefore, the two methionyl-tRNA synthetase sequences, although significantly different, maintain a common scaffold with the functionally important residues exposed at constant positions. Sequence alignments suggest that the above conclusion can be generalized to the known methionyl-tRNA synthetases from various sources.

Dates and versions

hal-00788524 , version 1 (19-02-2013)



Emmanuelle Schmitt, Michel Panvert, Yves Mechulam, Sylvain Blanquet. General structure/function properties of microbial methionyl-tRNA synthetases.. European Journal of Biochemistry, 1997, 246 (2), pp.539-47. ⟨10.1111/j.1432-1033.1997.00539.x⟩. ⟨hal-00788524⟩
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