An archaeal phenylalanyl-tRNAsynthetase (FRS) has been purified from the hyperthermophile Sulfolobus solfataricus (Ss). This enzyme is a heterotetramer made of two different subunits whose molecular mass is 56 kDa and 64 kDa, respectively. As thought, SsFRS is essential for the in vitro poly(Phe) synthesis. Interestingly, the enzyme is able to aminoacylate only endogenous tRNA but it does not seem to be a strictly ATP-dependent synthetase. SsFRS interacts with the elongation factor 1alpha isolated from the same source; this caused a significant enhancement of the SstRNA aminoacylation efficiency, thus indicating that, as well as in eukarya, in this archaeon a tRNA channelling mechanism should occur. The overall results presented in this paper show that the archaeal SsFRS behaves as the analogous enzymes isolated from eukaryal sources rather than those from eubacterial organisms.
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