Transfer RNA-like structures

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Transfer RNA-like structures (tRNA-like structures) are RNA sequences, which have a similar tertiary structure to tRNA; they frequently contain a pseudoknot close to the 3' end.[1] The presence of tRNA-like structures has been demonstrated in many plant virus RNA genomes. These tRNA-like structures are linked to regulation of plant virus replication.[1]

tRNA-like structures mimic some tRNA function, such as aminoacylation. There are three aminoacylation specificities, valine, histidine and tyrosine. For example, valine binds to the tRNA-like structure of the turnip yellow mosaic virus genome whilst tyrosine binds to the tRNA-like structure of the barley stripe mosaic virus genome.[2] tRNA-like structures which lack the 3' termini lack complete or partial tRNA mimicry.

tRNA-like structures are required for RNA encapsulation and increase RNA stability. They also act as 3'-translational enhancers[3] and regulators of minus strand synthesis.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Dreher TW (July 2008). "Role of tRNA-like structures in controlling plant virus replication". Virus Res. 139 (2): 217–29. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2008.06.010. PMC 2676847Freely accessible. PMID 18638511. 
  2. ^ Mans RM, Pleij CW, Bosch L (October 1991). "tRNA-like structures. Structure, function and evolutionary significance". Eur. J. Biochem. 201 (2): 303–24. doi:10.1111/j.1432-1033.1991.tb16288.x. PMID 1935928. 
  3. ^ Matsuda D, Dreher TW (March 2004). "The tRNA-like structure of Turnip yellow mosaic virus RNA is a 3'-translational enhancer". Virology. 321 (1): 36–46. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2003.10.023. PMID 15033563.