Bridging the Gap between Ribosomal and Non-ribosomal Protein Synthesis

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Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) are the enzymes normally responsible for the attachment of amino acids (aa) to tRNAs. Numerous paralogous proteins of aaRSs have been identified in a wide range of organisms, but the functions of most of these aaRS-like proteins are yet to be determined. In PNAS, the study by Mocibob et al. (1) identifies a paralog of seryl-tRNA synthetase that does not aminoacylate a tRNA, but instead, aminoacylates an aa carrier protein. This exciting discovery provides an unforeseen function for the aaRS architecture and also uncovers a possible evolutionary link between ribosome-catalyzed translation and nonribosomal peptide synthesis.


This article was originally published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, volume 107, in 2010.


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