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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Thermostable RNase P RNAs lacking P18 identified in the Aquificales.

The RNase P RNA (rnpB) and protein ( rnpA) genes were identified in the two Aquificales Sulfurihydrogenibium azorense and Persephonella marina. In contrast, neither of the two genes has been found in the sequenced genome of their close relative, Aquifex aeolicus. As in most bacteria, the rnpA genes of S. azorense and P. marina are preceded by the rpmH gene coding for ribosomal protein L34. This genetic region, including several genes up- and downstream of rpmH, is uniquely conserved among all three Aquificales strains, except that rnpA is missing in A. aeolicus. The RNase P RNAs (P RNAs) of S. azorense and P. marina are active catalysts that can be activated by heterologous bacterial P proteins at low salt. Although the two P RNAs lack helix P18 and thus one of the three major interdomain tertiary contacts, they are more thermostable than Escherichia coli P RNA and require higher temperatures for proper folding. Related to their thermostability, both RNAs include a subset of structural idiosyncrasies in their S domains, which were recently demonstrated to determine the folding properties of the thermostable S domain of Thermus thermophilus P RNA. Unlike 16S rRNA phylogeny that has placed the Aquificales as the deepest lineage of the bacterial phylogenetic tree, RNase P RNA-based phylogeny groups S. azorense and P. marina with the green sulfur, cyanobacterial, and delta/epsilon proteobacterial branches.[1]


  1. Thermostable RNase P RNAs lacking P18 identified in the Aquificales. Marszalkowski, M., Teune, J.H., Steger, G., Hartmann, R.K., Willkomm, D.K. RNA (2006) [Pubmed]
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