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

A mixed group II/group III twintron in the Euglena gracilis chloroplast ribosomal protein S3 gene: evidence for intron insertion during gene evolution.

The splicing of a 409 nucleotide intron from the Euglena gracilis chloroplast ribosomal protein S3 gene ( rps3) was examined by cDNA cloning and sequencing, and northern hybridization. Based on the characterization of a partially spliced pre-mRNA, the intron was characterized as a 'mixed' twintron, composed of a 311 nucleotide group II intron internal to a 98 nucleotide group III intron. Twintron excision is via a 2-step sequential splicing pathway, with removal of the internal group II intron preceding excision of the external group III intron. Based on secondary structural analysis of the twintron, we propose that group III introns may represent highly degenerate versions of group II introns. The existence of twintrons is interpreted as evidence that group II introns were inserted during the evolution of Euglena chloroplast genes from a common ancestor with eubacteria, archaebacteria, cyanobacteria, and other chloroplasts.[1]


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