Published on Oct. 1, 2004 in Trends Biochem Sci volume 29.
PubMed ID: 15450604
The activation and charging of amino acids onto the acceptor stems of their cognate tRNAs are the housekeeping functions of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. The availability of whole genome sequences has revealed the existence of synthetase-like proteins that have other functions linked to different aspects of cell metabolism and physiology. In eubacteria, a paralog of glutamyl-tRNA synthetase, which lacks the tRNA-binding domain, was found to aminoacylate tRNA(Asp) not on the 3'-hydroxyl group of the acceptor stem but on a cyclopentene diol of the modified nucleoside queuosine present at the wobble position of anticodon loop. This modified nucleoside might be a relic of an ancient code.