Cys-tRNACys formation and cysteine biosynthesis in methanogenic archaea: two faces of the same problem?
Ambrogelly A., Kamtekar S., Sauerwald A., Ruan B., Tumbula-Hansen D., Kennedy D., Ahel I., Söll D.
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.