Four newly located pseudouridylate residues in Escherichia coli 23S ribosomal RNA are all at the peptidyltransferase center: analysis by the application of a new sequencing technique

Biochemistry. 1993 Sep 21;32(37):9754-62. doi: 10.1021/bi00088a030.


A new technique has been developed for the facile location of pseudouridylate (psi) residues in any RNA molecule. The method uses two known modification procedures which in combination uniquely identify U residues which have been converted into psi. The first procedure involves reaction of all U-like and G-like residues with N-cyclohexyl-N'-beta-(4-methylmorpholinium)ethylcarbodiimide p-tosylate (CMC), followed by alkaline removal of all CMC groups except those linked to the N3 of psi. This stops reverse transcription, resulting in a gel band which identifies the U residue. The second procedure is uridine-specific hydrazinolysis which cleaves the RNA chain at all U residues and produces a gel band upon reverse transcription. psi residues, being resistant to hydrazinolysis, are not cleaved and do not stop reverse transcription. This leads to the absence of a band at psi residues. The combined method can also distinguish psi from 5-methyluridine, 4-thiouridine, uridine-5-oxyacetic acid, and 2-thio-5-methylaminomethyluridine as shown by treating rRNA and tRNA species known to contain these modified bases at defined sites. By this procedure, four new sites for psi in Escherichia coli 23S RNA were discovered, and one was disproven. The four new sites are at positions 2457, 2504, 2580, and 2605. The erroneous site is at position 2555. These four new psi residues, which are all in or within 2-3 residues of the peptidyltransferase ring, are thus in a position to play a functional and/or structural role at the peptidyltransferase center.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Escherichia coli
  • Hydrazines / chemistry
  • Hydrogen Bonding
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Peptidyl Transferases / chemistry*
  • Pseudouridine / chemistry*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 23S / chemistry*
  • Ribosomes / chemistry
  • Ribosomes / enzymology*


  • Hydrazines
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 23S
  • Pseudouridine
  • hydrazine
  • Peptidyl Transferases