An "Elongated" Translation Elongation Factor Tu for Truncated tRNAs in Nematode Mitochondria

Takashi Ohtsuki, Yoh Ichi Watanabe, Chie Takemoto, Gota Kawai, Takuya Ueda, Kiyoshi Kita, Somei Kojima, Yoshito Kaziro, Jens Nyborg, Kimitsuna Watanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


We have found the gene for a translation elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) homologue in the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Because the corresponding protein was detected immunologically in a nematode mitochondrial (mt) extract, it could be regarded as a nematode mt EF-Tu. The protein possesses an extension of about 57 amino acids (we call this domain 3′) at the C terminus, which is not found in any other known EF-Tu. Because most nematode mt tRNAs lack a T stem, domain 3′ may be related to this feature. The nematode EF-Tu bound to nematode T stem-lacking tRNA, but bacterial EF-Tu was unable to do so. A series of domain exchange experiments strongly suggested that domains 3 and 3′ are essential for binding to T stem-lacking tRNAs. This finding may constitute a novel example of the co-evolution of a structurally simplified RNA and the cognate RNA-binding protein, the latter having apparently acquired an additional domain to compensate for the lack of a binding site(s) on the RNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21571-21577
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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