Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Advisor

Gauld, James W.

Keywords

Pure sciences

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Proteins are ubiquitous in nature, carrying out many of life's functions. However, for these biomolecules to function correctly they must be accurately synthesized. The task of ensuring the desired accuracy is achieved falls to Aminoacyl tRNA Synthetases (aaRS). These enzymes catalyze the activation and transfer of amino acids to tRNA. In addition to carrying out these reactions, they also edit against the incorporation of incorrect amino acids. Within this thesis the many facets of aaRS editing and accuracy are examined in detail. In particular, the editing mechanism of Hcy and Hse in MetRS is elucidated in detail. These results allow us to infer generalizations of the editing of Hcy within many aaRS's. Zn(II)'s role in catalysis and accuracy for SerRS, CysRS and ThrRS is also examined in some detail and gives key insights into a new potential role it may play.

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