Nucleotide modifications in the anticodons of transfer RNAs (tRNA) play a central role in translation efficiency, fidelity, and regulation of translation, but, for most of these modifications, the details of their function remain unknown. The heterodimeric adenosine deaminases acting on tRNAs (ADAT2-ADAT3, or ADAT) are enzymes present in eukaryotes that convert adenine (A) to inosine (I) in the first anticodon base (position 34) by hydrolytic deamination. To explore the influence of ADAT activity on mammalian translation, we have characterized the human transcriptome and proteome in terms of frequency and distribution of ADAT-related codons. Eight different tRNAs can be modified by ADAT and, once modified, these tRNAs will recognize NNC, NNU and NNA codons, but not NNG codons. We find that transcripts coding for proteins highly enriched in these eight amino acids (ADAT-aa) are specifically enriched in NNC, NNU and NNA codons. We also show that the proteins most enriched in ADAT-aa are composed preferentially of threonine, alanine, proline, and serine (TAPS). We propose that the enrichment in ADAT-codons in these proteins is due to the similarities in the codons that correspond to TAPS.
Rafels-Ybern, À., Attolini, C. S. O., & de Pouplana, L. R. (2015). Distribution of ADAT-dependent codons in the human transcriptome. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 16(8), 17303–17314. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms160817303