Papers in the Biological Sciences


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Published in Gene 134:1 (November 1993), pp. 57-65


Copyright © 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers B. V. Used by permission.


Nonsense suppressors derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae tRNATrp genes have not been identified by classical genetic screens, although one can construct efficient amber (am) suppressors from them by making the appropriate anticodon mutation in vitro. Herein, a series of in vitro constructed putative suppressor genes was produced to test if pre-tRNATrp processing difficulties could help to explain the lack of classical tRNATrp-based suppressors. It is clear that inefficient processing of in-trons from precursor tRNATrp, or inaccurate overall processing, may explain why some of these constructs fail to promote nonsense suppression in vivo. However, deficient processing must be only one of the reasons why classical tRNATrp-based suppressors have not been characterized, as suppres-sion may still be extremely weak or absent in instances where the in vitro construct can lead to an accumulation of mature tRNATrp. Furthermore, suppression is also very weak in strains transformed with an intronless derivative of a putative tRNATrp ochre (oc) suppressor gene, wherein intron removal cannot pose a problem.

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