The C-terminal appended domain of human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase is indispensable in its interaction with arginyl-tRNA synthetase in the multi-tRNA synthetase complex

Chen Ling, Yong Neng Yao, Yong Gang Zheng, Hui Wei, Lie Wang, Xiang Fu Wu, En Duo Wang

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35 Scopus citations


Human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase is one component of a macromolecular aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex. This is unlike prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic LeuRSs that exist as free soluble enzymes. There is little known about it, since the purified enzyme has been unavailable. Herein, human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase was heterologously expressed in a baculovirus system and purified to homogeneity. The molecular mass (135 kDa) of the enzyme is close to the theoretical value derived from its cDNA. The kinetic constants of the enzyme for ATP, leucine, and tRNALeu in the ATP-PPi exchange and tRNA leucylation reactions were determined, and the results showed that it is quite active as a free enzyme. Human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase expressed in human 293 T cells localizes predominantly to the cytosol. Additionally, it is found to have a long C-terminal extension that is absent from bacterial and yeast LeuRSs. A C-terminal 89-amino acid truncated human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase was constructed and purified, and the catalytic activities, thermal stability, and subcellular location were found to be almost identical to native enzyme. In vivo and in vitro experiments, however, show that the C-terminal extension of human cytosolic leucyl-tRNA synthetase is indispensable for its interaction with the N-terminal of human cytosolic arginyl-tRNA synthetase in the macromolecular complex. Our results also indicate that the two molecules interact with each other only through their appended domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34755-34763
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 14 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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