Aminoacyl tRNA synthetases and gene translation


The activity of the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) produce tRNAs charged with their cognate amino acids, which are the substrates for ribosomal protein synthesis. Our group is interested in the analysis of these enzymes in photosynthetic organisms and particularly in cyanobacteria, a group of prokaryotes where aaRS have received little attention. We have recently observed that several aaRS are anchored to the thylakoid membranes by a novel protein domain that they have acquired through evolution. These are the only membrane-bound aaRS known in any living organism and, at present we focus on the characterization of their function. We have also analyzed the gene complement for aaRS in cyanobacterial genomes, and observed several peculiar features including few cases of horizontal gene transfer, the existence of duplicated genes or genes encoding protein paralogous to aaRS, or the absence of genes encoding aaRS. Our current work focuses on the characterization of membrane-bound aaRS, the analysis of duplicated aaRS genes and the characterization of the function of aaRS paralogs.

MEC (BFU2007-66589; BFU2007-60651)
MICINN (BFU2010-19544)
MINECO (BFU2013-44686-P)  
Junta de Andalucía (CVI-03167)
Selected Publications
Type: Publications in journals
Trans-oligomerization of duplicated aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases maintains genetic code fidelity under stress
Authors: Rubio, M.A., Napolitano, M., Santamaría-Gómez, J., Ochoa de Alda, J. A. G, Patterson, C.J., Foster, A.W., Bru-Martínez, R., Robinson, N.J. and Luque , I.
Publication Year: 2015
Journal: Nucleic Acids Research
Volume: doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv1020
Type: Publications in journals
Characterization of the Response to Zinc Deficiency in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. Strain PCC 7120
Authors: Napolitano, M., Rubio, M.A., Santamaría-Gómez, J., Olmedo-Verd, E., Robinson N.J. and Luque, I.
Publication Year: 2012
Pages: 2426-2436
Journal: Journal of Bacteriology
Volume: 194