GEK1, a Gene Product of Arabidopsis Thaliana Involved in Ethanol Tolerance, Is a D-aminoacyl-tRNA Deacylase

Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35(3):930-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkl1145. Epub 2007 Jan 23.


GEK1, an Arabidopsis thaliana gene product, was recently identified through its involvement in ethanol tolerance. Later, this protein was shown to display 26% strict identity with archaeal d-Tyr-tRNA(Tyr) deacylases. To determine whether it actually possessed deacylase activity, the product of the GEK1 open reading frame was expressed in Escherichia coli from a multi-copy plasmid. Purified GEK1 protein contains two zinc ions and proves to be a broad-specific, markedly active d-aminoacyl-tRNA deacylase in vitro. Moreover, GEK1 expression is capable of functionally compensating in E. coli for the absence of endogeneous d-Tyr- tRNA(Tyr) deacylase. Possible connections between exposure of plants to ethanol/acetaldehyde and misaminoacylation of tRNA by d-amino acids are considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / pharmacology
  • Aminoacyltransferases / genetics
  • Aminoacyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Catalysis
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Ethanol / pharmacology
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Zinc / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • GEK1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ethanol
  • Aminoacyltransferases
  • D-tyrosine tRNA(Tyr) deacylase
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Zinc