The structural basis of the genetic code: amino acid recognition by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases

AuthorKaiser, F.; Krautwurst, S.; Salentin, S.; Haupt, V.J.; Leberecht, C.; Bittrich, S.; Labudde, D.; Schroeder, M.
TypeJournal Article
AbstractStorage and directed transfer of information is the key requirement for the development of life. Yet any information stored on our genes is useless without its correct interpretation. The genetic code defines the rule set to decode this information. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are at the heart of this process. We extensively characterize how these enzymes distinguish all natural amino acids based on the computational analysis of crystallographic structure data. The results of this meta-analysis show that the correct read-out of genetic information is a delicate interplay between the composition of the binding site, non-covalent interactions, error correction mechanisms, and steric effects.