Novel hybrid encodes both continuous and split tRNA genes?

J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2011 Apr;28(5):827-31. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2011.10508610.


tRNAs are mostly transcribed from un-fragmented genes, but occasionally also from split genes, with separated 5' and 3' halves. A reanalysis of the existing data on Staphylothermus marinus and Staphylothermus hellenicus hints of a novel hybrid gene that encodes both an un-fragmented and a 5'-split-half together in one. The corresponding 3' complement-gene is located elsewhere on the genome. As un-fragmented, the hybrid gene transcribes to tRNA(lys)(TTT). But as 5'-half, it trans-splices with its 3'-complement-half to tRNA(lys)(CTT), the tRNA missed so far. This hybrid of the split and the un-fragmented in one suggests a deeper synergy between the two, and hints of co-evolution. Furthermore, in a subtle contrast to the widely held idea of conservation of 3'-half, it is precisely the 3'-half that varies in these two tRNAs; the 5'-half remains conserved.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Desulfurococcaceae / genetics*
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • RNA, Archaeal / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer / chemistry
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*


  • RNA, Archaeal
  • RNA, Transfer