Three-Dimensional Structure of Yeast Phenylalanine Transfer RNA: Folding of the Polynucleotide Chain
At 4 angstrom resolution the polynucleotides in yeast phenylalanine transfer RNA are seen in a series of electron dense masses about 5.8 angstrom apart. These peaks are probably associated with the phosphate groups, while lower levels of electron density between segments of adjacent polynucleotide chains are interpreted as arising from hydrogen-bonded purine-pyrimidine base pairs. It is possible to trace the entire polynucleotide chain with only two minor regions of ambiguity. The polynucleotide chain has a secondary structure consistent with the cloverleaf conformation; however, its folding is different from that proposed in any model. The molecule is made of two double-stranded helical regions oriented at right angles to each other in the shape of an L. One end of the L has the CCA acceptor; the anticodon loop is at the other end, the dihydrouridine and Tpsi C loops form the corner.