Published on Oct. 1, 2008 in RNA volume 14.
PubMed ID: 18755837
We recently showed that the gamma-subunit of Kluyveromyces lactis killer toxin (gamma-toxin) is a tRNA endonuclease that cleaves tRNA(mcm5s2UUC Glu), tRNA(mcm5s2UUU Lys), and tRNA(mcm5s2UUG Gln) 3' of the wobble nucleoside 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-2-thiouridine (mcm(5)s(2)U). The 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl (mcm(5)) side chain was important for efficient cleavage by gamma-toxin, and defects in mcm(5) side-chain synthesis correlated with resistance to gamma-toxin. Based on this correlation, a genome-wide screen was performed to identify gene products involved in the formation of the mcm(5) side chain. From a collection of 4826 homozygous diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, each with one nonessential gene deleted, 63 mutants resistant to Kluyveromyces lactis killer toxin were identified. Among these, eight were earlier identified to have a defect in formation of the mcm(5) side chain. Analysis of the remaining mutants and other known gamma-toxin resistant mutants revealed that sit4, kti14, and KTI5 mutants also have a defect in the formation of mcm(5). A mutant lacking two of the Sit4-associated proteins, Sap185 and Sap190, displays the same modification defect as a sit4-null mutant. Interestingly, several mutants were found to be defective in the synthesis of the 2-thio (s(2)) group of the mcm(5)s(2)U nucleoside. In addition to earlier described mutants, formation of the s(2) group was also abolished in urm1, uba4, and ncs2 mutants and decreased in the yor251c mutant. Like the absence of the mcm(5) side chain, the lack of the s(2) group renders tRNA(mcm5s2UUC Glu) less sensitive to gamma-toxin, reinforcing the importance of the wobble nucleoside mcm(5)s(2)U for tRNA cleavage by gamma-toxin.