Published on Jan. 1, 2005 in DNA Res volume 12.
PubMed ID: 16769697
The tRNA molecule has an important role in translation, the function of which is to carry amino acids to the ribosomes. It is known that tRNA is transcribed from tRNA genes, some of which, in Eukarya and Archaea, contain introns. A computational analysis of the complete genome of Aeropyrum pernix K1 predicted the presence of 14 intron-containing tRNA genes. To elucidate whether these introns are actually processed in living cells and what mechanism detects the intron regions, cDNAs for premature and mature forms of the tRNA molecules transcribed from the intron-containing tRNA genes in the model aerobic acidothermophilic crenarchaeon, A. pernix K1 were identified and analyzed. A comparison between the nucleotide sequences of these two types of cDNAs indicated that the intron regions of the tRNA molecules were indeed processed in A. pernix K1 living cells. Some cDNA clones showed that the actual splicing positions were different from those predicted by computational analysis. However, the bulge-helix-bulge structure, which has been previously identified in exon-intron boundaries of archaeal tRNA genes, was evident in all boundary regions confirmed in this work. These results indicate that the generally described mechanism for tRNA processing in Archaea is utilized for processing the intron region of the tRNA molecules in A. pernix K1.