Published on Feb. 1, 2015 in RNA volume 21.
PubMed ID: 25404562
Post-transcriptional tRNA modifications are critical for efficient and accurate translation, and have multiple different roles. Lack of modifications often leads to different biological consequences in different organisms, and in humans is frequently associated with neurological disorders. We investigate here the conservation of a unique circuitry for anticodon loop modification required for healthy growth in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae Trm7 interacts separately with Trm732 and Trm734 to 2'-O-methylate three substrate tRNAs at anticodon loop residues C(3)(2) and N(3)(4), and these modifications are required for efficient wybutosine formation at m(1)G(3)(7) of tRNA(Phe). Moreover, trm7Delta and trm732Delta trm734Delta mutants grow poorly due to lack of functional tRNA(Phe). It is unknown if this circuitry is conserved and important for tRNA(Phe) modification in other eukaryotes, but a likely human TRM7 ortholog is implicated in nonsyndromic X-linked intellectual disability. We find that the distantly related yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has retained this circuitry for anticodon loop modification, that S. pombe trm7Delta and trm734Delta mutants have more severe phenotypes than the S. cerevisiae mutants, and that tRNA(Phe) is the major biological target. Furthermore, we provide evidence that Trm7 and Trm732 function is widely conserved throughout eukaryotes, since human FTSJ1 and THADA, respectively, complement growth defects of S. cerevisiae trm7Delta and trm732Delta trm734Delta mutants by modifying C(3)(2) of tRNA(Phe), each working with the corresponding S. cerevisiae partner protein. These results suggest widespread importance of 2'-O-methylation of the tRNA anticodon loop, implicate tRNA(Phe) as the crucial substrate, and suggest that this modification circuitry is important for human neuronal development.