A basic NH2-terminal extension of rat liver arginyl-tRNA synthetase required for its association with high molecular weight complexes.

G. Vellekamp, M. P. Deutscher

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Rat liver arginyl-tRNA synthetase is found in extracts either as a component (Mr = 72,000) of a high molecular weight aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex or as a low molecular weight (Mr = 60,000) free form. Previous studies suggested that the free protein arises from the complex-derived form by a limited proteolysis that removes the portion of the protein required for its association with the complex. In order to determine the location in the protein and some structural properties of this extra 12-kDa portion, the complex-derived and free forms were each extensively purified and compared by peptide mapping using limited V-8 protease digestion. The two proteins showed 7-8 peptide bands in common, as well as 1-2 unique bands each. Treatment of each of the proteins with carboxypeptidase Y prior to digestion with V-8 protease indicated that the two proteins have a common COOH-terminal peptide. Amino acid analyses of the two arginyl-tRNA synthetases revealed a strong similarity; however, the complex-derived form contained a large excess of basic amino acids. These results demonstrate directly that the complex-derived and free forms of arginyl-tRNA synthetase are closely related proteins, but that the former includes a basic, NH2-terminal extension absent in the free form. The role of this extra segment in the polyanion-binding properties of eukaryotic synthetases and in their structural organization into high molecular weight complexes is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9927-9930
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
StatePublished - Jul 25 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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