Existence of two forms of rat liver arginyl-tRNA synthetase suggests channeling of aminoacyl-tRNA for protein synthesis

Pillarisetti Sivaram, Murray P. Deutscher

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54 Scopus citations


Arginyl-tRNA synthetase (arginine-tRNA lipase, EC is found in extracts of mammalian cells both as a free protein (Mr = 60,000) and as a component (Mr = 72,000) of the high molecular weight aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex (Mr > 106). Several pieces of evidence indicate that the low molecular weight free form is not a proteolytic degradation product of the complex-bound enzyme but that it preexists in vivo: (i) the endogenous free form differs in size from the active proteolytic fragment generated in vitro, (ii) conditions expected to increase or decrease the amount of proteolysis do not alter the ratio of the two forms of the enzyme, and (iii) the free form contains an NH2-terminal methionine residue. A model is presented that provides a rationale for the existence of two forms of arginyl-tRNA synthetase in cells. In this model the complexed enzyme supplies arginyl-tRNA for protein synthesis, whereas the free enzyme provides arginyl-tRNA for the NH2-terminal arginine modification of proteins by arginyl-tRNA : protein arginyltransferase. This latter process targets certain proteins for removal by the ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation pathway. The necessity for an additional pool of arginyl-tRNA for the modification reaction leads to the conclusion that the arginyl-tRNA destined for protein synthesis (and/or protein modification) is channeled and unavailable for other processes. Other evidence supporting channeling in protein synthesis is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3665-3669
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990


  • Arginyl-tRNA protein transferase
  • Ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General


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