Tissue- and Time-Specific Expression of Otherwise Identical tRNA Genes

Dror Sagi, Roni Rak, Hila Gingold, Idan Adir, Gadi Maayan, Orna Dahan, Limor Broday, Yitzhak Pilpel, Oded Rechavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Codon usage bias affects protein translation because tRNAs that recognize synonymous codons differ in their abundance. Although the current dogma states that tRNA expression is exclusively regulated by intrinsic control elements (A- and B-box sequences), we revealed, using a reporter that monitors the levels of individual tRNA genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, that eight tryptophan tRNA genes, 100% identical in sequence, are expressed in different tissues and change their expression dynamically. Furthermore, the expression levels of the sup-7 tRNA gene at day 6 were found to predict the animal’s lifespan. We discovered that the expression of tRNAs that reside within introns of protein-coding genes is affected by the host gene’s promoter. Pairing between specific Pol II genes and the tRNAs that are contained in their introns is most likely adaptive, since a genome-wide analysis revealed that the presence of specific intronic tRNAs within specific orthologous genes is conserved across Caenorhabditis species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006264
Number of pages27
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Tissue- and Time-Specific Expression of Otherwise Identical tRNA Genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this