Determinants of tRNA editing and modification: avoiding conundrums, affecting function

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 May;23(3):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.10.009. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


In all organisms tRNAs play the essential role of connecting the genetic information found in DNA with the protein synthesis machinery ensuring fidelity during translation. Following transcription tRNAs undergo a number of processing events including numerous post-transcriptional modifications that render a tRNA molecule fully functional. The effects of some modifications go beyond simply affecting tRNA structure and can alter the meaning of the tRNA. This review will summarize the current state of the tRNA editing field, highlighting how editing affects tRNA structure and function in various organisms. It will also discuss recent data that hints at connections between editing and modification that may be exploited by cells to modulate a tRNA's role in translation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA Editing*
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics*
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism*


  • RNA, Transfer