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Pleiotropic effects of intron removal on base modification pattern of yeast tRNAPhe: an in vitro study.

Cell-free yeast extract has been successfully used to catalyze the enzymatic formation of 11 out of the 14 naturally occurring modified nucleotides in yeast tRNAPhe(anticodon GAA). They are m2G10, D17, m22G26, Cm32, Gm34,psi39, m5C40, m7G46, m5C49, T54 andpsi55. Only D16, Y37 and m1A58 were not formed under in vitro conditions. However, m1G37was quantitatively produced instead of Y37. The naturally occurring intron was absolutely required for m5C40formation while it hindered completely the enzymatic formation of Cm32, Gm34and m1G37. Enzymatic formation of m22G26,psi39, m7G46, m5C49, T54 andpsi55were not or only slightly affected by the presence of the intron. These results allow us to classify the different tRNA modification enzymes into three groups: intron insensitive, intron dependent, and those requiring the absence of the intron. The fact that truncated tRNAPheconsisting of the anticodon stem and loop prolonged with the 19 nucleotide long intron is a substrate for tRNA: cytosine-40 methylase demonstrates that the enzyme is not only strictly intron dependent, but also does not require fully structured tRNA.