by Ofri Levi, Yoav Arava

Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are well studied for their role in binding and charging tRNAs with cognate amino acids. Recent RNA interactome studies had suggested that these enzymes can also bind polyadenylated RNAs. Here, we explored the mRNA repertoire bound by several yeast aaRSs. RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) followed by deep sequencing revealed unique sets of mRNAs bound by each aaRS. Interestingly, for every tested aaRSs, a preferential association with its own mRNA was observed, suggesting an autoregulatory process. Self-association of histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS) was found to be mediated primarily through binding to a region predicted to fold into a tRNAHis anticodon-like structure. Introducing point mutations that are expected to disassemble this putative anticodon mimic alleviated self-association, concomitant with increased synthesis of the protein. Finally, we found that increased cellular levels of uncharged tRNAHis lead to reduced self-association and increased HisRS translation, in a manner that depends on the anticodon-like element. Together, these results reveal a novel post-transcriptional autoregulatory mechanism that exploits binding mimicry to control mRNA translation according to tRNA demands.

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