In contrast with most aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, the lysyl-tRNA synthetase of Escherichia coli is coded for by two genes, the normal lysS gene and the inducible lysU gene. During its purification from E. coli K12, lysyl-tRNA synthetase was monitored by its aminoacylation and adenosine(5′)tetraphospho(5′)adenosine (Ap4A) synthesis activities. Ap4A synthesis was measured by a new assay using DEAE-cellulose filters. The heterogeneity of lysyl-tRNA synthetase (LysRS) was revealed on hydroxyapatite; we focused on the first peak, LysRS1, because of its higher Ap4A/lysyl-tRNA activity ratio at that stage. Additional differences between LysRS1 and LysRS2 (major peak on hydroxyapatite) were collected. LysRS1 was eluted from phosphocellulose in the presence of the substrates, whereas LysRS2 was not. Phosphocellulose chromatography was used to show the increase of LysRS1 in cells submitted to heat shock. Also, the Mg2+ optimum in the Ap4A-synthesis reaction is much higher for LysRS1. LysRS1 showed a higher thermostability, which was specifically enhanced by Zn2+. These results in vivo and in vitro strongly suggest that LysRS1 is the heat-inducible lysU-gene product.
- © 1987 London: The Biochemical Society