This is a region found N terminal to the catalytic domain of glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (EC 188.8.131.52) in eukaryotes but not in Escherichia coli. This region is thought to bind RNA in a non-specific manner, enhancing interactions between the tRNA and enzyme, but is not essential for enzyme function .
The aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (also known as aminoacyl-tRNA ligase) catalyse the attachment of an amino acid to its cognate transfer RNA molecule in a highly specific two-step reaction [PUBMED:10704480,PUBMED:12458790]. These proteins differ widely in size and oligomeric state, and have limited sequence homology [PUBMED:2203971]. The 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are divided into two classes, I and II. Class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases contain a characteristic Rossman fold catalytic domain and are mostly monomeric [PUBMED:10673435]. Class II aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases share an anti-parallel beta-sheet fold flanked by alpha-helices [PUBMED:8364025], and are mostly dimeric or multimeric, containing at least three conserved regions [PUBMED:8274143, PUBMED:2053131, PUBMED:1852601]. However, tRNA binding involves an alpha-helical structure that is conserved between class I and class II synthetases. In reactions catalysed by the class I aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, the aminoacyl group is coupled to the 2'-hydroxyl of the tRNA, while, in class II reactions, the 3'-hydroxyl site is preferred. The synthetases specific for arginine, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, isoleucine, leucine, methionine, tyrosine, tryptophan, valine, and some lysine synthetases (non-eukaryotic group) belong to class I synthetases. The synthetases specific for alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, glycine, histidine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine,and some lysine synthetases (non-archaeal group), belong to class-II synthetases. Based on their mode of binding to the tRNA acceptor stem, both classes of tRNA synthetases have been subdivided into three subclasses, designated 1a, 1b, 1c and 2a, 2b, 2c [PUBMED:10447505].