tRNA Shape Is an Identity Element for an Archaeal Pyrrolysyl-tRNA Synthetase from the Human Gut; “Breakthrough Article” Published in Nucleic Acids Research

Example of tRNA for glutamic acid.

A team of investigators at multiple institutions in Canada and the US, led by Drs. Trushar Patel (University of Lethbridge), Jörg Stetefeld (University of Manitoba), Joseph Puglisi (Stanford University), and Dieter Söll (Yale University)describe a collaborative study used to determine the structural and physical basis (known as “identity elements”) for tRNA recognition by the tRNA synthetase that installs the “22nd amino acid,” pyrrolysine. The work, published online on December 15, 2023, has been selected as a “Breakthrough Article” by the publishing journal Nucleic Acids Research. Nucleic Acids Research is a publication of Oxford University Press and is fully open access. Its mission is to provide outstanding, scientist-led evaluation and dissemination of the highest caliber research across a wide range of disciplines focused on the role of nucleic acids and nucleic acid-interacting molecules in cellular and molecular biology. Breakthrough Articles at NAR describe studies that solve a long-standing problem in their field or provide exceptional new insight and understanding into an area of research that will clearly motivate and guide new research opportunities and directions. They represent the top papers that NAR receives for publication and are selected by the Editors based on nominations by authors and/or reviewers, and on the subsequent recommendation of the reviewers and Editorial Board members. The current manuscript was nominated as a Breakthrough Article during peer review, with one investigator stating “this manuscript clearly explained the orthogonality among different pairs of PylRS/tRNAPyl from different species. Because of the essential role of PylRS systems in genetic code expansion, this finding will benefit protein studies and protein engineering through noncanonical amino acids.”

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