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A Phylogeny of Bacterial RNA Nucleotidyltransferases: Bacillus halodurans Contains Two tRNA Nucleotidyltransferases

By Patricia Bralley, Samantha A. Chang and George H. Jones


We have analyzed the distribution of RNA nucleotidyltransferases from the family that includes poly(A) polymerases (PAP) and tRNA nucleotidyltransferases (TNT) in 43 bacterial species. Genes of several bacterial species encode only one member of the nucleotidyltransferase superfamily (NTSF), and if that protein functions as a TNT, those organisms may not contain a poly(A) polymerase I like that of Escherichia coli. The genomes of several of the species examined encode more than one member of the nucleotidyltransferase superfamily. The function of some of those proteins is known, but in most cases no biochemical activity has been assigned to the NTSF. The NTSF protein sequences were used to construct an unrooted phylogenetic tree. To learn more about the function of the NTSFs in species whose genomes encode more than one, we have examined Bacillus halodurans. We have demonstrated that B. halodurans adds poly(A) tails to the 3′ ends of RNAs in vivo. We have shown that the genes for both of the NTSFs encoded by the B. halodurans genome are transcribed in vivo. We have cloned, overexpressed, and purified the two NTSFs and have shown that neither functions as poly(A) polymerase in vitro. Rather, the two proteins function as tRNA nucleotidyltransferases, and our data suggest that, like some of the deep branching bacterial species previously studied by others, B. halodurans possesses separate CC- and A-adding tRNA nucleotidyltransferases. These observations raise the interesting question of the identity of the enzyme responsible for RNA polyadenylation in Bacillus

Topics: Genomics and Proteomics
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JB.187.17.5927-5936.2005
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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