Functional defects in transfer RNAs lead to the accumulation of ribosomal RNA precursors

Jacoba G. Slagter-Jäger, Leopold Puzis, Nancy S. Gutgsell, Marlene Belfort, Chaitanya Jain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Normal expression and function of transfer RNA (tRNA) are of paramount importance for translation. In this study, we show that tRNA defects are also associated with increased levels of immature ribosomal RNA (rRNA). This association was first shown in detail for a mutant strain that underproduces tRNAArg2 in which unprocessed 16S and 23S rRNA levels were increased several-fold. Ribosome profiles indicated that unprocessed 23S rRNA in the mutant strain accumulates in ribosomal fractions that sediment with altered mobility. Underproduction of tRNAArg2 also resulted in growth defects under standard laboratory growth conditions. Interestingly, the growth and rRNA processing defects were attenuated when cells were grown in minimal medium or at low temperatures, indicating that the requirement for tRNAArg2 may be reduced under conditions of slower growth. Other tRNA defects were also studied, including a defect in RNase P, an enzyme involved in tRNA processing; a mutation in tRNATrp that results in its degradation at elevated temperatures; and the titration of the tRNA that recognizes rare AGA codons. In all cases, the levels of unprocessed 16S and 23S rRNA were enhanced. Thus, a range of tRNA defects can indirectly influence translation via effects on the biogenesis of the translation apparatus. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-605
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Rep helicase
  • RNA processing
  • rRNA
  • Translation
  • tRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional defects in transfer RNAs lead to the accumulation of ribosomal RNA precursors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this