To test the structure of tmRNA in solution, cross-linking experiments were performed which showed two sets of cross-links in two different domains of tmRNA. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to search for tmRNA nucleotide bases that might form a functional analogue of a codon-anticodon duplex to be recognized by the ribosomal A-site. We demonstrate that nucleotide residues U85 and A86 from tmRNA are significant for tmRNA function and propose that they are involved in formation of a tmRNA element playing a central role in A-site recognition. These data are discussed in the frame of a hypothetical model that suggests a general scheme for the interaction of tmRNA with the ribosome and explains how it moves through the ribosome.
- Site-directed mutagenesis