A comparison of imino proton NMR spectra of yeast tRNAPhe recorded at various solution conditions indicates, that polyamines have a limited effect on the structure of this tRNA molecule. Polyamines are found to catalyse the solvent exchange of several imino protons in yeast tRNAPhe not only of non hydrogen bonded imino protons, but also of imino protons of the GU and of some AU and tertiary base pairs. It is concluded that at low levels of catalysing components the exchange rates of the latter protons are not determined by the base pair lifetime. In the presence of high levels of spermidine the solvent exchange rates of imino protons of several base pairs in the molecule were assessed as a function of the temperature. Apparent activation energies derived from these rates were found to be less than 80 kJ/mol, which is indicative for (transient) independent opening of the corresponding base pairs. In the acceptor helix the GU base pair acts as a dynamic dislocation. The AU base pairs at one side of the GU base pair exhibit faster transient opening than the GC base pairs on the other side of this wobble pair. The base pairs m2GC10 and GC11 from the D stem and GC28 from the anticodon stem show relatively slow opening up to high temperatures. Model studies suggest that 1-methyladenosine, an element of tRNA itself, catalyses imino proton solvent exchange in a way similar to polyamines.