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Unusual anticodon loop structure found in E.coli lysine tRNA.

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Although both tRNA(Lys) and tRNA(Glu) of E. coli possess similar anticodon loop sequences, with the same hypermodified nucleoside 5-methylaminomethyl-2-thiouridine (mnm5s2U) at the first position of their anticodons, the anticodon loop structures of these two tRNAs containing the modified nucleoside appear to be quite different as judged from the following observations. (1) The CD band derived from the mnm5s2U residue is negative for tRNA(Glu), but positive for tRNA(Lys). (2) The mnm5s2U monomer itself and the mnm5s2U-containing anticodon loop fragment of tRNA(Lys) show the same negative CD bands as that of tRNA(Glu). (3) The positive CD band of tRNA(Lys) changes to negative when the temperature is raised. (4) The reactivity of the mnm5s2U residue toward H2O2 is much lower for tRNA(Lys) than for tRNA(Glu). These features suggest that tRNA(Lys) has an unusual anticodon loop structure, in which the mnm5s2U residue takes a different conformation from that of tRNA(Glu); whereas the mnm5s2U base of tRNA(Glu) has no direct bonding with other bases and is accessible to a solvent, that of tRNA(Lys) exists as if in some way buried in its anticodon loop. The limited hydrolysis of both tRNAs by various RNases suggests that some differences exist in the higher order structures of tRNA(Lys) and tRNA(Glu). The influence of the unusual anticodon loop structure observed for tRNA(Lys) on its function in the translational process is also discussed.

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