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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: PloS One.

Volume 7, Issue 4, 23 April 2012, Article number e35321.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035321.

Copyright © 2012 Sepuri et al.


Aminoacyl tRNA synthetases play a central role in protein synthesis by charging tRNAs with amino acids. Yeast mitochondrial lysyl tRNA synthetase (Msk1), in addition to the aminoacylation of mitochondrial tRNA, also functions as a chaperone to facilitate the import of cytosolic lysyl tRNA. In this report, we show that human mitochondrial Kars (lysyl tRNA synthetase) can complement the growth defect associated with the loss of yeast Msk1 and can additionally facilitate the in vitro import of tRNA into mitochondria. Surprisingly, the import of lysyl tRNA can occur independent of Msk1 in vivo. This suggests that an alternative mechanism is present for the import of lysyl tRNA in yeast.

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