Aspartyl-tRNA synthetase of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus sp. KOD1 has a chimerical structure of eukaryotic and bacterial enzymes

Gene. 1995 Oct 16;164(1):153-6. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(95)00491-n.


The aspartyl-tRNA synthetase (AspRS)-encoding gene from the archaeon, Pyrococcus sp. KOD1 (KOD1), was cloned and sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The purified AspRS possessed an aminoacyation activity for tRNA extracted from KOD1. Analysis of the deduced amino-acid sequence (438 aa, 50,893 Da) revealed that the AspRS of KOD1 is a chimerical protein of bacteria and eukarya. Regional analysis showed high sequence similarity to higher eukaryotic enzymes in the central and C-terminal regions which are important for catalytic activity of the enzyme. In contrast, the N-terminal portion exhibits bacterial features and does not possess the higher eukaryotic sequence which is involved in high molecular weight (HMW) complex formation. These results suggest that archaeon AspRS has a eukaryotic-type catalytic mechanism without forming the HMW complex. This is the first example which shows that an archaeal protein possesses eukaryotic and bacterial features.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaea / enzymology
  • Archaea / genetics*
  • Aspartate-tRNA Ligase / genetics*
  • Aspartate-tRNA Ligase / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Eukaryotic Cells
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Prokaryotic Cells
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Aspartate-tRNA Ligase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/D45167