Thermostable valyl-tRNA, isoleucyl-tRNA and methionyl-tRNA synthetases have been purified from an extreme thermophile, Thermus thermophilus HB8. Valyl-tRNA and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases are found to be monomer proteins (Mr 108000 and 129000, respectively), while methionyl-tRNA synthetase is a dimer protein (Mr 150000). These enzymes are very similar with respect to amino acid compositions and α-helix contents as estimated by circular dichroism analyses. Furthermore, two Zn2+ are tightly bound to each of these synthetases. These data suggest that valyl-tRNA and isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases consist of two domains, each corresponding to the subunit of methionyl-tRNA synthetase.
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