The nearly conserved U54 of tRNA is mostly converted to a version of ribothymidine (T) in Bacteria and eukaryotes and to a version of pseudouridine (Ψ) in Archaea. Conserved U55 is nearly always modified to Ψ55 in all organisms. Orthologs of TrmA and TruB that produce T54 and Ψ55, respectively, in Bacteria and eukaryotes are absent in Archaea. Pus10 produces both Ψ54 and Ψ55 in Archaea. Pus10 orthologs are found in nearly all sequenced archaeal and most eukaryal genomes, but not in yeast and bacteria. This coincides with the presence of Ψ54 in most archaeal tRNAs and some animal tRNAs, but its absence from yeast and bacteria. Moreover, Ψ54 is found in several tRNAs that function as primers for retroviral DNA synthesis. Previously, no eukaryotic tRNA Ψ54 synthase had been identified. We show here that human Pus10 can produce Ψ54 in select tRNAs, including tRNALys3, the primer for HIV reverse transcriptase. This synthase activity of Pus10 is restricted to the cytoplasm and is distinct from nuclear Pus10, which is known to be involved in apoptosis. The sequence GUUCAm1AAUC (m1A is 1-methyladenosine) at position 53-61 of tRNA along with a stable acceptor stem results in maximum Ψ54 synthase activity. This recognition sequence is unique for a Ψ synthase in that it contains another modification. In addition to Ψ54, SF9 cells-derived recombinant human Pus10 can also generate Ψ55, even in tRNAs that do not contain the Ψ54 synthase recognition sequence. This activity may be redundant with that of TruB.
Keywords: 1-methyladenosine; TruB; mRNA modification; pseudouridine synthase; retroviral primer; tRNA modification.
© 2019 Deogharia et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.