General Introduction

  • Naohiro TerasakaEmail author
Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)


Transfer RNA (tRNA) is one of the most abundant and popular noncoding RNA (ncRNA), which works as an adaptor molecule linking a nucleotide to an amino acid in the translation step. The 3′-end of tRNA is universally conserved as CCA-3′ and forms base pairs with ribosomal RNA during the translation. If the easy method to prepare various aa-tRNA bearing mutations in the CCA-3′ end, it is usable for analyzing the role of CCA-3′ end during the translation and engineering the translation machinery. Recently, various small noncoding RNAs have been identified and the function of those RNAs have been studied. However, it is not easy to discover the small ncRNAs with very low abundance because tRNAs are too much abundant in small RNA fraction (less than 200 nt). To overcome this problem, easy method to remove tRNAs from small RNA fraction is required. In order to solve these problems, I focused on flexizymes that are aminoacylation ribozymes developed by in vitro selection. Flexizymes have following unique characteristics: (i) substrate RNA is recognized by two consecutive base pairs between 3′-end of substrate RNA and 3′-end of flexizyme, (ii) these base pairs can be substituted with other base pairs and (iii) various activated amino acids can be used as substrates including both canonical and noncanonical amino acids. Therefore, flexizymes enable to label all endogenous tRNAs bearing CCA-3′ end with ncAAs to be removed, and to aminoacylate CCA-3′ mutated tRNAs by compensatory mutations to engineer the translation machinery.


Ribozyme MicroRNA SELEX tRNA Ribosome Translation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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