Mitochondrial (mt) tRNA(Trp), tRNA(Ile), tRNA(Met), tRNA(Ser)GCU, tRNA(Asn) and tRNA(Lys) were purified from Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and their nucleotide sequences were determined. tRNA(Lys) corresponding to both AAA and AAG lysine codons was found to contain the anticodon CUU, C34 at the wobble position being unmodified. tRNA(Met) corresponding to both AUA and AUG methionine codons was found to contain 5-formylcytidine (f5C) at the wobble position, although the extent of modification is partial. These results suggest that both C and f5C as the wobble bases at the anticodon first position (position 34) can recognize A at the codon third position (position 3) in the fruit fly mt translation system. tRNA(Ser)GCU corresponding to AGU, AGC and AGA serine codons was found to contain unmodified G at the anticodon wobble position, suggesting the utilization of an unconventional G34-A3 base pair during translation. When these tRNA anticodon sequences are compared with those of other animal counterparts, it is concluded that either unmodified C or G at the wobble position can recognize A at the codon third position and that modification from A to t6A at position 37, 3'-adjacent to the anticodon, seems to be important for tRNA possessing C34 to recognize A3 in the mRNA in the fruit fly mt translation system.
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