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Aminoacyl-tRNA (transfer RNA) synthetases are essential components of the cellular translation machinery as they provide the ribosome with aminoacyl-tRNAs. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthesis is generally well understood. However, the mechanism of Cys-tRNACys formation in three methanogenic archaea ( Methanocaldococcus jannaschii, Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus and Methanopyrus kandleri) is still unknown, since no recognizable gene for a canonical cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase could be identified in the genome sequences of these organisms. Here we review the different routes recently proposed for Cys-tRNACys formation and discuss its possible link with cysteine biosynthesis in these methanogenic archaea.

Original publication




Journal article


Cell Mol Life Sci

Publication Date





2437 - 2445


Archaea, Binding Sites, Cysteine, Genes, Archaeal, Methane, Models, Biological, Models, Molecular, Phylogeny, Protein Biosynthesis, Protein Conformation, RNA, RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl