The recognition by RNaseP of precursor tRNAs

M. F. Baer, R. M. Reilly, G. M. McCorkle, T. Y. Hai, S. Altman, U. L. RajBhandary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We have generated mutants of M1 RNA, the catalytic subunit of Escherichia coli RNaseP, and have analyzed their properties in vitro and in vivo. The mutations, A333→C333, A334→U334, and A333 A334→C333 U334 are within the sequence UGAAU which is complementary to the GTψCR sequence found in loop IV of all E. coli tRNAs. We have examined: 1) whether the mutant M1 RNAs are active in processing wild type tRNA precursors and 2) whether they can restore the processing defect in mutant tRNA precursors with changes within the GTψCR sequence. As substrates for in vitro studies we used wild type E. coli SuIII tRNA(Tyr) precursor, and pTyrA54, a mutant tRNA precursor with a base change that could potentially complement the U334 mutation in M1 RNA. The C333 mutation had no effect on activity of M1 RNA on wild type pTyr. The U334 mutant M1 RNA, on the other hand, had a much lower activity on wild type pTyr. However, use of pTyrA54 as substrate instead of wild type pTyr did not restore the activity of the U334 mutant M1 RNA. These results suggest that interactions via base pairing between nucleotides 331-335 of M1 RNA and the GTψCG of pTyr are probably not essential for cleavage of these tRNA precursors by M1 RNA. For assays of in vivo function, we examined the ability of mutant M1 RNAs to complement a ts mutation in the protein component of RNaseP in FS101, a recA- derivative of E. coli strain A49. In contrast to wild type M1 RNA, which complements the ts mutation when it is overproduced, neither the C333 nor the U334 mutant M1 RNAs was able to do so.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2344-2351
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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