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Mitochondrial tRNAs are transcribed as long polycistronic transcripts of precursor tRNAs and undergo posttranscriptional modifications such as endonucleolytic processing and methylation required for their correct structure and function. Among them, 5'-end processing and purine 9 N1-methylation of mitochondrial tRNA are catalyzed by two proteinaceous complexes with overlapping subunit composition. The Mg2+-dependent RNase P complex for 5'-end cleavage comprises the methyltransferase domain-containing protein tRNA methyltransferase 10C, mitochondrial RNase P subunit (TRMT10C/MRPP1), short-chain oxidoreductase hydroxysteroid 17β-dehydrogenase 10 (HSD17B10/MRPP2), and metallonuclease KIAA0391/MRPP3. An MRPP1-MRPP2 subcomplex also catalyzes the formation of 1-methyladenosine/1-methylguanosine at position 9 using S-adenosyl-l-methionine as methyl donor. However, a lack of structural information has precluded insights into how these complexes methylate and process mitochondrial tRNA. Here, we used a combination of X-ray crystallography, interaction and activity assays, and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to gain structural insight into the two tRNA modification complexes and their components. The MRPP1 N terminus is involved in tRNA binding and monomer-monomer self-interaction, whereas the C-terminal SPOUT fold contains key residues for S-adenosyl-l-methionine binding and N1-methylation. The entirety of MRPP1 interacts with MRPP2 to form the N1-methylation complex, whereas the MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 RNase P complex only assembles in the presence of precursor tRNA. This study proposes low-resolution models of the MRPP1-MRPP2 and MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 complexes that suggest the overall architecture, stoichiometry, and orientation of subunits and tRNA substrates.

Original publication

DOI

10.1074/jbc.RA117.001286

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Biol Chem

Publication Date

17/08/2018

Volume

293

Pages

12862 - 12876

Keywords

HSD10, HSD17B10, MRPP, PRORP, RNA methylation, RNA methyltransferase, TRMT10C, complex, ribonuclease P (RNase P), transfer RNA (tRNA)