Processing of tRNA in prokaryotes and eukaryote

Murray P. Deutscher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Considerable progress has been made in defining the steps in the conversion of a tRNA precursor to a mature tRNA. These steps, which differ in different systems, include removal of precursor-specific residues from the 5' and 3' termini of the initial transcript, addition of the 3'-C-C-A terminus, splicing of intervening sequences, and modification of nucleotide residues. Despite these advances in defining the "pathways" of tRNA processing, relatively little is known about most of the enzymes actually involved in these processing steps. In this article I describe the sequence of reactions needed to convert the initial tRNA transcript to a functional, mature tRNA, and discuss the specificity and properties of enzymes known to be involved in this process. In addition, I speculate on the expected specificities of other enzymes involved in tRNA processing which have not yet been identified, and on the structural organization of the processing machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-71
Number of pages27
JournalCritical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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