Transfer RNAs play a key role in protein synthesis. Following transcription, tRNAs are extensively processed prior to their departure from the nucleus to become fully functional during translation. This includes removal of 5′ leaders and 3′ trailers by a specific endo- and/or exonuclease, 3′ CCA tail addition, posttranscriptional modifications and in some cases intron removal. In this minireview, the critical factors of nuclear tRNA trafficking are described based on studies in classical models such as yeast and human cell lines. In addition, recent findings and identification of novel regulatory loops of nuclear tRNA trafficking in trypanosomes are discussed with emphasis on tRNA modifications. The comparison between the representatives of opisthokonts and excavates serves here to understand the evolutionary conservation and diversity of nuclear tRNA export mechanisms.
Keywords: Nuclear tRNA export; Trypanosoma brucei; tRNA modification.