A unique serine-specific elongation factor tu found in nematode mitochondria

Takashi Ohtsuki, Aya Sato, Yoh Ichi Watanabe, Kimitsuna Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The translation elongation factor Tu (EF-Tu) delivers aminoacyl-tRNAs to ribosomes by recognizing the tRNA acceptor and T stems. However, the unusual truncation observed in some animal mitochondrial tRNAs seems to prevent recognition by a canonical EF-Tu. For instance, nematode mitochondria contain tRNAs lacking a T or D arm. We recently found an atypical EF-Tu (EF-Tu1) specific for nematode mitochondrial tRNAs that lack the T arm. We have now discovered a second factor, EF-Tu2, which binds only to tRNAs that lack a D arm. EF-Tu2 seems unique in its amino acid specificity because it recognizes the aminoacyl moiety of seryl-tRNAs and the tRNA structure itself. Such EF-Tu evolution might explain tRNA structural divergence in animal mitochondria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-673
Number of pages5
JournalNature Structural Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics


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