Aminoacylation of synthetic DNAs corresponding to Escherichia coli phenylalanine and lysine tRNAs

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Science  01 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4861, pp. 74-79
DOI: 10.1126/science.2455342


Synthetic DNA oligomers (tDNAs) corresponding to Escherichia coli tRNA(Phe) or tRNA(Lys) have been synthesized with either deoxythymidine (dT) or deoxyuridine (dU) substituted in the positions occupied by ribouridine or its derivatives. The tDNAs inhibited the aminoacylation of their respective tRNAs with their cognate amino acids, but not the aminoacylation of tRNA(Leu) with Leu. In the presence of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase, species of both a tDNA(Phe) synthesized with a 3' terminal riboadenosine and a tDNA(Lys) containing only deoxynucleotides could be aminoacylated with the appropriate amino acids, although the Michaelis constant Km and observed maximal rate Vmax values for aminoacylation were increased by three- to fourfold and decreased by two- to threefold, respectively. The aminoacylation of synthetic tDNAs demonstrates that the ribose backbone of a tRNA is not absolutely required for tRNA aminoacylation.