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The lysyl-tRNA synthetase paralog PoxA modifies elongation factor P (EF-P) with α-lysine at low efficiency. Cell-free extracts containing non–α-lysine substrates of PoxA modified EF-P with a change in mass consistent with addition of β-lysine, a substrate also predicted by genomic analyses. EF-P was efficiently functionally modified with (R)-β-lysine but not (S)-β-lysine or genetically encoded α-amino acids, indicating that PoxA has evolved an activity orthogonal to that of the canonical aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Nature Chemical Biology, volume 7, in 2011 following peer review. The final publication may differ and is available at Springer via

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Nature Publishing Group



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