Glutamyl-tRNAGln amidotransferase in Deinococcus radiodurans may be confined to asparagine biosynthesis

Alan W. Curnow, Debra L. Tumbula, Joanne T. Pelaschier, Bokkee Min, Dieter Söll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Asparaginyl-tRNA (Asn-tRNA) and glutaminyl-tRNA (Gln-tRNA) are essential components of protein synthesis. They can be formed by direct acylation by asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase (AsnRS) or glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS). The alternative route involves transamidation of incorrectly charged tRNA. Examination of the preliminary genomic sequence of the radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans suggests the presence of both direct and indirect routes of Asn-tRNA and Gln-tRNA formation. Biochemical experiments demonstrate the presence of AsnRS and GlnRS, as well as glutamyl-tRNA synthetase (GluRS), a discriminating and a nondiscriminating aspartyl-tRNA synthetase (AspRS). Moreover, both Gln-tRNA and Asn-tRNA transamidation activities are present. Surprisingly, they are catalyzed by a single enzyme encoded by three ORFs orthologous to Bacillus subtilis gatCAB. However, the transamidation route to Gln-tRNA formation is idled by the inability of the discriminating D. radiodurans GIuRS to produce the required mischarged Glu-tRNAGln substrate. The presence of apparently redundant complete routes to Asn-tRNA formation, combined with the absence from the D. radiodurans genome of genes encoding tRNA-independent asparagine synthetase and the lack of this enzyme in D. radiodurans extracts, suggests that the gatCAH genes may be responsible for biosynthesis of asparagine in this asparagine prototroph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12838-12843
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
StatePublished - Oct 27 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Glutamyl-tRNAGln amidotransferase in Deinococcus radiodurans may be confined to asparagine biosynthesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this