Radical mediated ring formation in the biosynthesis of the hypermodified tRNA base wybutosine

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2013 Aug;17(4):613-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2013.05.035. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


Wyosine and its derivatives are highly modified, acid labile tricyclic bases found at position 37 of tRNA(Phe) in archaea and eukarya. The formation of the common 4-demethylwyosine structural feature entails condensation of pyruvate and N-methylguanosine catalyzed by TYW1. This review will focus on the mechanism of this complex radical mediated transformation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biocatalysis
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Nucleosides / biosynthesis*
  • Nucleosides / chemistry
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism*


  • Free Radicals
  • Nucleosides
  • wybutosine
  • RNA, Transfer