Hori, Hiroyuki Ehime University
Kawamura, Takuya Ehime University
Awai, Takako Ehime University
Ochi, Anna Ehime University
Yamagami, Ryota Ehime University
Tomikawa, Chie Ehime University
To date, numerous modified nucleosides in tRNA as well as tRNA modification enzymes have been identified not only in thermophiles but also in mesophiles. Because most modified nucleosides in tRNA from thermophiles are common to those in tRNA from mesophiles, they are considered to work essentially in steps of protein synthesis at high temperatures. At high temperatures, the structure of unmodified tRNA will be disrupted. Therefore, thermophiles must possess strategies to stabilize tRNA structures. To this end, several thermophile-specific modified nucleosides in tRNA have been identified. Other factors such as RNA-binding proteins and polyamines contribute to the stability of tRNA at high temperatures. Thermus thermophilus, which is an extreme-thermophilic eubacterium, can adapt its protein synthesis system in response to temperature changes via the network of modified nucleosides in tRNA and tRNA modification enzymes. Notably, tRNA modification enzymes from thermophiles are very stable. Therefore, they have been utilized for biochemical and structural studies. In the future, thermostable tRNA modification enzymes may be useful as biotechnology tools and may be utilized for medical science.
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