Structure of the ribotrinucleoside diphosphate codon UpUpC bound to tRNAPhe from yeast. A time-dependent transferred nuclear Overhauser enhancement study

J Mol Biol. 1984 Mar 25;174(1):163-73. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(84)90370-x.


The structure of the ribotrinucleoside diphosphate UpUpC, the codon for phenylalanine, bound to yeast tRNAPhe in solution is elucidated using time-dependent proton-proton transferred nuclear Overhauser enhancement measurements to determine distances between bound ligand protons. The glycosidic bond and ribose conformations are low anti and 3'-endo, respectively, typical of an A-RNA type structure. The main chain torsion angles are all within the range of those expected for A-RNA but small differences from those in conventional A-RNA 11 result in a special structure with a larger rotation per residue (40 to 45 degrees compared to 32.7 degrees in R-RNA 11) and almost perfect stacking of the bases. These two structural features, which are similar to those found in the anticodon triplet of the monoclinic crystal form of tRNAPhe, can account for the known greater stability of the codon-anticodon complex relative to an equivalent double helical RNA trimer with a conventional A-RNA structure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Codon*
  • Cytidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cytidine / genetics
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Models, Genetic
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Oligonucleotides / genetics*
  • Oligoribonucleotides / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger*
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • Codon
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Oligoribonucleotides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl
  • 5'-r(uridylyl-uridylyl cytidine)
  • Cytidine