In mammalian cells, 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARS) catalyze the ligation of amino acids to their cognate tRNAs to generate aminoacylated-tRNAs. In higher eukaryotes, 9 of the 20 AARSs, along with 3 auxiliary proteins, join to form the cytoplasmic multi-tRNA synthetase complex (MSC). The complex is absent in prokaryotes, but evolutionary expansion of MSC constituents, primarily by addition of novel interacting domains, facilitates formation of subcomplexes that join to establish the holo-MSC. In some cases, environmental cues direct the release of constituents from the MSC which enables the execution of non-canonical, i.e., "moonlighting", functions distinct from their essential activities in protein translation. These activities are generally beneficial, but can also be deleterious to the cell. Elucidation of the non-canonical activities of several AARSs residing in the MSC suggest they are potential therapeutic targets for cancer, as well as metabolic and neurologic diseases. Here, we describe the role of MSC-resident AARSs in cancer progression, and the factors that regulate their release from the MSC. Also, we highlight recent developments in therapeutic modalities that target MSC AARSs for cancer prevention and treatment.
Khan, Krishnendu; Gogonea, Valentin; and Fox, Paul L., "Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases of the Multi-tRNA Synthetase Complex and Their Role in Tumorigenesis" (2022). Chemistry Faculty Publications. 620.
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