Specificity for aminoacylation of an RNA helix: an unpaired, exocyclic amino group in the minor groove

Science. 1991 Aug 16;253(5021):784-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1876835.


An acceptor stem G3.U70 base pair is a major determinant of the identity of an alanine transfer RNA. Hairpin helices and RNA duplexes consisting of complementary single strands are aminoacylated with alanine if they contain G3.U70. Chemical synthesis of RNA duplexes enabled the introduction of base analogs that tested the role of specific functional groups in the major and minor grooves of the RNA helix. The results of these experiments indicate that an unpaired guanine 2-amino group at a specific position in the minor groove of an RNA helix marks a molecule for aminoacylation with alanine.

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

  • Acylation
  • Alanine-tRNA Ligase / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligonucleotides / chemistry
  • RNA, Transfer, Ala / chemistry
  • RNA, Transfer, Ala / metabolism*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Oligonucleotides
  • RNA, Transfer, Ala
  • Alanine-tRNA Ligase