Area C: Mechanisms and Tools

Project C01 – Biochemical and crystallographic analyses of enzyme-catalysed posttranscriptional tRNA modifications

tRNA modifications are posttranscriptionally installed by specific enzymes. Close to the anticodon they affect accuracy of translation by ribosomes. N-Threonylcarbamoyladenosine is a ubiquitous modification that can undergo further cyclization as well as methylthiolation. Another sulphur-containing tRNA base is 2-thiocytidine. Since the biosynthetic pathways of both modifications are not fully understood to date, the reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities of the respective enzymes will be explored biochemically and by X-ray crystallography.