Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Peking University (2019)

Stanford Advisors

  • Mark Kay, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor

All Publications

  • The 3'tsRNAs are aminoacylated: Implications for their biogenesis. PLoS genetics Liu, Z., Kim, H. K., Xu, J., Jing, Y., Kay, M. A. 2021; 17 (7): e1009675


    Emerging evidence indicates that tRNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are involved in fine-tuning gene expression and become dysregulated in various cancers. We recently showed that the 22nt LeuCAG tsRNA from the 3 end of tRNALeu is required for efficient translation of a ribosomal protein mRNA and ribosome biogenesis. Inactivation of this 3tsRNA induced apoptosis in rapidly dividing cells and suppressed the growth of a patient-derived orthotopic hepatocellular carcinoma in mice. The mechanism involved in the generation of the 3tsRNAs remains elusive and it is unclear if the 3-ends of 3tsRNAs are aminoacylated. Here we report an enzymatic method utilizing exonuclease T to determine the 3charging status of tRNAs and tsRNAs. Our results showed that the LeuCAG 3tsRNA, and two other 3tsRNAs are fully aminoacylated. When the leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LARS1) was inhibited, there was no change in the total tRNALeu concentration but a reduction in both the charged tRNALeu and LeuCAG 3tsRNA, suggesting the 3tsRNAs are fully charged and originated solely from the charged mature tRNA. Altering LARS1 expression or the expression of various tRNALeu mutants were also shown to affect the generation of the LeuCAG 3tsRNA further suggesting they are created in a highly regulated process. The fact that the 3tsRNAs are aminoacylated and their production is regulated provides additional insights into their importance in post-transcriptional gene regulation that includes coordinating the production of the protein synthetic machinery.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1009675

    View details for PubMedID 34324497