Tyrosine pre-transfer RNA fragments are linked to p53-dependent neuronal cell death via PKM2

Masanori Inoue, Kazumasa Hada, Hiroshi Shiraishi, Hiroyuki Yatsuka, Hiroyuki Fujinami, Ikuko Morisaki, Yoshihiro Nishida, Etsuro Matsubara, Tohru Ishitani, Reiko Hanada, Masaki Matsumoto, Josef M. Penninger, Kenji Ihara, Toshikatsu Hanada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Fragments of transfer RNA (tRNA), derived either from pre-tRNA or mature tRNA, have been discovered to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of various disorders such as neurodegenerative disease. CLP1 is an RNA kinase involved in tRNA biogenesis, and mutations in its encoding gene are responsible for pontocerebellar hypoplasia type-10. Mutation of the CLP1 gene results in the accumulation of tRNA fragments of several different kinds. These tRNA fragments are expected to be associated with the disease pathogenesis. However, it is still unclear which of the tRNA fragments arising from the CLP1 gene mutation has the greatest impact on the onset of neuronal disease. We found that 5′ tRNA fragments derived from tyrosine pre-tRNA (5′ Tyr-tRF) caused p53-dependent neuronal cell death predominantly more than other types of tRNA fragment. We also showed that 5′ Tyr-tRF bound directly to pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2). Injection of zebrafish embryos with PKM2 mRNA ameliorated the neuronal defects induced in zebrafish embryos by 5′ Tyr-tRF. Our findings partially uncovered a mechanistic link between 5′ Tyr-tRF and neuronal cell death that is regulated by PKM2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-732
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 7 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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