Elongator is a 6 subunit protein complex highly conserved in eukaryotes. The role of this complex has been controversial as the pleiotropic phenotypes of Elongator mutants have implicated the complex in several cellular processes. However, in yeast there is convincing evidence that the primary and probably only role of this complex is in formation of the 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl (mcm(5)) and 5-carbamoylmethyl (ncm(5)) side chains on uridines at wobble position in tRNA. In this review we summarize the cellular processes that have been linked to the Elongator complex and discuss its role in tRNA modification and regulation of translation. We also describe additional gene products essential for formation of ncm(5) and mcm(5) side chains at U34 and their influence on Elongator activity.
Keywords: KTI genes; Kluveromyces lactis γ-toxin; SAP genes; SIT4; elongator complex; tRNA wobble uridine modifications,; translation.