The conformations of the ribotrinucleoside bisphosphates GpApC and GpApU, the codon and wobble codon for aspartic acid respectively, bound to yeast tRNAAsp in solution, have been examined by means of time-dependent transferred nuclear Overhauser enhancement measurements to determine distances between bound ligand protons. The conformations of the two bound ribotrinucleoside bisphosphates are shown to be very similar with an overall root-mean-square difference in interproton distances of 0.03 nm. The ribose conformations of all the residues are 3'-endo; the glycosidic bond torsion angles of the A and C residues of GpApC and of the A and U residues of GpApU are in the low anti range. These features are typical of an A-RNA type structure. In contrast, the G residue of both GpApC and GpApU exists as a mixture of syn and anti conformations. The overall conformation of the two bound ribotrinucleoside bisphosphates is also similar to A-RNA and the stability of the complexes is enhanced by extensive base-base stacking interactions. In addition, it is shown that the binding of the codon GpApC to tRNAAsp induces self-association into a multicomplex system consisting of four GpApC-tRNAAsp complexes, whereas the wobble codon GpApU fails to induce any observable self-association.