We report here evidence for mutations that break domain-domain functional communication in a synthetase-tRNA complex. Each synthetase is roughly divided into two major domains that are paralleled by the two arms of the L-shaped tRNA structure. The active-site-containing domain interacts with the acceptor arm of the tRNA. The second domain frequently interacts with the anticodon-containing arm. By an induced-fit mechanism, contacts with the anticodon can activate formation of a robust transition state at a site over 70 A away. This induced-fit-based activation is thought to occur through domain-domain signaling and is seen by the enhancement of aminoacylation of the anticodon-containing full tRNA versus a substrate based on the acceptor arm alone. Here we describe a rationally designed mutant methionyl-tRNA synthetase containing two point substitutions at sites that potentially link an anticodon-binding motif to the catalytic domain. The double mutation had no effect on interactions with either the isolated acceptor arm or the anticodon stem-loop. In contrast to interactions with the separate pieces, the mutant enzyme was severely impaired for binding the native tRNA and lost much of its ability to enhance the rate of charging of the full tRNA over that of a substrate based on the acceptor arm alone. We propose that these residues are part of a network for facilitating domain-domain communication for formation of an active synthetase-tRNA complex by induced fit.