We report the identification and characterization of eight yeast mitochondrial tRNA mutants, located in mitochondrial tRNA(Gln), tRNA(Arg2), tRNAG(Ile), tRNA(His), and tRNA(Cys), the respiratory phenotypes of which exhibit various degrees of deficiency. The mutations consist in single-base substitutions, insertions, or deletions, and are distributed all over the tRNA sequence and structure. To identify the features responsible for the defective phenotypes, we analyzed the effect of the different mutations on the electrophoretic mobility and efficiency of acylation of the mutated tRNAs in comparison with the respective wild-type molecules. Five of the studied mutations determine both conformational changes and defective acylation, while two have neither or limited effect. However, variations in structure and acylation are not necessarily correlated; the remaining mutation affects the tRNA conformation, but not its acylation properties. Analysis of tRNA structures and of mitochondrial and cytoplasmic yeast tRNA sequences allowed us to propose explanations for the observed defects, which can be ascribed to either the loss of identity nucleotides or, more often, of specific secondary and/or tertiary interactions that are largely conserved in native mitochondrial and cytoplasmic tRNAs.
Aminoacylation and conformational properties of yeast mitochondrial tRNA mutants with respiratory deficiency / Francisci, Silvia; DE LUCA, Cristina; R., Oliva; V., Morea; Tramontano, Anna; Frontali, Laura. - In: RNA. - ISSN 1355-8382. - 11:6(2005), pp. 914-927. [10.1261/rna.2260305]