Published on Feb. 25, 2008 in J Mol Biol volume 375.
PubMed ID: 18068186
The conserved cytidine residue at position 56 of tRNA contributes to the maintenance of the L-shaped tertiary structure. aTrm56 catalyzes the 2'-O-methylation of the cytidine residue in archaeal tRNA, using S-adenosyl-L-methionine. Based on the amino acid sequence, aTrm56 is the most distant member of the SpoU family. Here, we determined the crystal structure of Pyrococcus horikoshii aTrm56 complexed with S-adenosyl-L-methionine at 2.48 A resolution. aTrm56 consists of the SPOUT domain, which contains the characteristic deep trefoil knot, and a unique C-terminal beta-hairpin. aTrm56 forms a dimer. The S-adenosyl-L-methionine binding and dimerization of aTrm56 were similar to those of the other SpoU members. A structure-based sequence alignment revealed that aTrm56 conserves only motif II, among the four signature motifs. However, an essential Arg16 residue is located at a novel position within motif I. Biochemical assays showed that aTrm56 prefers the L-shaped tRNA to the lambda form as its substrate.