Reactions at the termini of tRNA with T4 RNA ligase

A. Gregory Bruce*, Olke C. Uhlenbeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

259 Scopus citations


T4 RNA ligase will catalyze the addition of nucleoside 3′,5′-bisphos-phates Onto the 3′ terminus of tRNA resulting in a tRNA molecule one nucleotide longer with a 3′ terminal phosphate. Under appropriate conditions the reaction is quantitative and, if high specific radioactivity bisphosphates are used, it provides an efficient means for in vitro labeling of tRNA. Although the 3′ terminal hydroxyl is a good acceptor, the 5′ terminal phosphate in most tRNA is not an effective donor in the RNA ligase reaction. This poor reactivity is due to the secondary structure of the 5′ terminal nucleotide. If E. coli tRNAfMet is used, the 5′ phosphate is reactive and the major product with RNA ligase is the cyclic tRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3665-3678
Number of pages14
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Reactions at the termini of tRNA with T4 RNA ligase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this