The renaissance of aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis

EMBO Rep. 2001 May;2(5):382-7. doi: 10.1093/embo-reports/kve095.


The role of tRNA as the adaptor in protein synthesis has held an enduring fascination for molecular biologists. Over four decades of study, taking in numerous milestones in molecular biology, led to what was widely held to be a fairly complete picture of how tRNAs and amino acids are paired prior to protein synthesis. However, recent developments in genomics and structural biology have revealed an unexpected array of new enzymes, pathways and mechanisms involved in aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis. As a more complete picture of aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis now begins to emerge, the high degree of evolutionary diversity in this universal and essential process is becoming clearer.

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.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases / chemistry
  • Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Archaea / genetics
  • Archaea / metabolism
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / chemistry
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / genetics


  • Amino Acids
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl
  • Amino Acyl-tRNA Synthetases