Stress induces tRNA cleavage by angiogenin in mammalian cells

FEBS Lett. 2009 Jan 22;583(2):437-42. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2008.12.043. Epub 2008 Dec 27.


tRNAs play a central role in protein translation, acting as the carrier of amino acids. By cloning microRNAs, we unexpectedly obtained some tRNA fragments generated by tRNA cleavage in the anticodon loop. These tRNA fragments are present in many cell lines and different mouse tissues. In addition, various stress conditions can induce this tRNA cleavage event in mammalian cells. More importantly, angiogenin (ANG), a member of RNase A superfamily, appears to be the nuclease which cleaves tRNAs into tRNA halves in vitro and in vivo. These results imply that angiogenin plays an important physiological role in cell stress response, except for the known function of inducing angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticodon / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism*
  • Ribonuclease, Pancreatic / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • Anticodon
  • RNA, Transfer
  • angiogenin
  • Ribonuclease, Pancreatic