RNA



Dual function of the tRNA(m5U54)methyltransferase in tRNA maturation


MARCUS J.O.  JOHANSSON  a1 and ANDERS S.  BYSTRÖM  a1 c1
a1 Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract

A 5-methyluridine (m5U) residue at position 54 is a conserved feature of bacterial and eukaryotic tRNAs. The methylation of U54 is catalyzed by the tRNA(m5U54)methyltransferase, which in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is encoded by the nonessential TRM2 gene. In this study, we identified four different strains with mutant forms of tRNACGASer. The absence of the TRM2 gene in these strains decreased the stability of tRNACGASer and induced lethality. Two alleles of TRM2 encoding catalytically inactive tRNA(m5U54)methyltransferases were able to stabilize tRNACGASer in one of the mutants, revealing a role for the Trm2 protein per se in tRNA maturation. Other tRNA modification enzymes interacting with tRNACGASer in the maturation process, such as Pus4p, Trm1p, and Trm3p were essential or important for growth of the tRNACGASer mutants. Moreover, Lhp1p, a protein binding RNA polymerase III transcripts, was required to stabilize the mutant tRNAs. Based on our results, we suggest that tRNA modification enzymes might have a role in tRNA maturation not necessarily linked to their known catalytic activity.

(Received November 12 2001)
(Revised December 4 2001)
(Accepted December 7 2001)


Key Words: 5-methyluridine; LHP1; PUS4; sup61; TRM1; TRM2; TRM3; tRNA maturation.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to: Anders S. Byström, Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden; e-mail: Anders.Bystrom@micro.umu.se.