Identification of the miaB gene, involved in methylthiolation of isopentenylated A37 derivatives in the tRNA of Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli

J Bacteriol. 1999 Dec;181(23):7256-65. doi: 10.1128/JB.181.23.7256-7265.1999.


The tRNA of the miaB2508::Tn10dCm mutant of Salmonella typhimurium is deficient in the methylthio group of the modified nucleoside N(6)-(4-hydroxyisopentenyl)-2-methylthioadenosine (ms(2)io(6)A37). By sequencing, we found that the Tn10dCm of this strain had been inserted into the f474 (yleA) open reading frame, which is located close to the nag locus in both S. typhimurium and Escherichia coli. By complementation of the miaB2508::Tn10dCm mutation with a minimal subcloned f474 fragment, we showed that f474 could be identified as the miaB gene, which is transcribed in the counterclockwise direction on the bacterial chromosome. Transcriptional studies revealed two promoters upstream of miaB in E. coli and S. typhimurium. A Rho-independent terminator was identified downstream of the miaB gene, at which the majority (96%) of the miaB transcripts terminate in E. coli, showing that the miaB gene is part of a monocistronic operon. A highly conserved motif with three cysteine residues was present in MiaB. This motif resembles iron-binding sites in other proteins. Only a weak similarity to an AdoMet-binding site was found, favoring the idea that the MiaB protein is involved in the thiolation step and not in the methylating reaction of ms(2)i(o)(6)A37 formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Isopentenyladenosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Isopentenyladenosine / genetics
  • Isopentenyladenosine / metabolism
  • Models, Structural
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sulfurtransferases / genetics*
  • Sulfurtransferases / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • N(6)-(4-hydroxyisopentenyl)-2-methylthioadenosine
  • Isopentenyladenosine
  • RNA, Transfer
  • MiaB protein, E coli
  • Sulfurtransferases
  • isopentenyl-adenosine i6a thiotransferase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ249116