Faculté des sciences

Trypanosoma seryl-tRNA synthetase Is a metazoan-like enzyme with high affinity for tRNASec

Geslain, Renaud ; Aeby, Eric ; Guitart, Tanit ; Jones, Thomas E. ; Moura, Manuel Castro de ; Charrière, Fabien ; Schneider, André ; Pouplana, Lluís Ribas de

Trypanosomatids are important human pathogens that form a basal branch of eukaryotes. Their evolutionary history is still unclear as are many aspects of their molecular biology. Here we characterize essential components required for the incorporation of serine and selenocysteine into the proteome of Trypanosoma. First, the biological function of a putative Trypanosoma seryl-tRNA... More

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    Summary
    Trypanosomatids are important human pathogens that form a basal branch of eukaryotes. Their evolutionary history is still unclear as are many aspects of their molecular biology. Here we characterize essential components required for the incorporation of serine and selenocysteine into the proteome of Trypanosoma. First, the biological function of a putative Trypanosoma seryl-tRNA synthetase was characterized in vivo. Secondly, the molecular recognition by Trypanosoma seryl-tRNA synthetase of its cognate tRNAs was dissected in vitro. The cellular distribution of tRNASec was studied, and the catalytic constants of its aminoacylation were determined. These were found to be markedly different from those reported in other organisms, indicating that this reaction is particularly efficient in trypanosomatids. Our functional data were analyzed in the context of a new phylogenetic analysis of eukaryotic seryl-tRNA synthetases that includes Trypanosoma and Leishmania sequences. Our results show that trypanosomatid seryl-tRNA synthetases are functionally and evolutionarily more closely related to their metazoan homologous enzymes than to other eukaryotic enzymes. This conclusion is supported by sequence synapomorphies that clearly connect metazoan and trypanosomatid seryl-tRNA synthetases.