Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (ARS) ribozymes have potential to develop a novel genetic coding system. Although we have previously isolated such a ribozyme that recognizes aromatic amino acids, it could not be used as a versatile catalyst due to its limited ability of aminoacylation to a particular tRNA used for the selection. To overcome this limitation, we used a combination of evolutionary and engineering approaches to generate an optimized ribozyme. The ribozyme, consisting of 45 nucleotides, displays a broad spectrum of activity toward various tRNAs. Most significantly, this ribozyme is able to exhibit multiple turnover activity and charge parasubstituted Phe analogs onto an engineered suppressor tRNA (tRNAAsnCCCG). Thus, it provides a useful and flexible tool for the custom synthesis of mischarged tRNAs with natural and nonnatural amino acids.
Murakami, H., Saito, H., & Suga, H. (2003). A versatile tRNA aminoacylation catalyst based on RNA. Chemistry and Biology, 10(7), 655–662. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-5521(03)00145-5