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

Interlocked RNA circle formation by a self-splicing yeast mitochondrial group I intron.

RNA containing the aI3 group I intron of the yeast mitochondrial gene encoding cytochrome oxidase subunit I shows self-splicing in vitro. The excised intron, comprising 1514 nucleotides, is partially split into an upstream portion, containing the intronic reading frame, and a downstream portion, containing the typical group I conserved sequence elements. Full-length intron RNA and intron parts occur in linear and circular form. In the transesterification reactions leading to circle formation, only the guanosine nucleotide added during splicing is removed. Reincubation of isolated, complete circular intron RNA under self-splicing conditions leads to formation of free subintronic RNA circles. Under similar conditions, purified linear intron RNA gives rise to a number of circular and linear products, one of which consists of interlocked subintronic RNA circles. These observations suggest that the intron RNA possesses a dynamic structure in which subtle alterations in folding result in the formation of RNA products with different topology.[1]


  1. Interlocked RNA circle formation by a self-splicing yeast mitochondrial group I intron. Tabak, H.F., Van der Horst, G., Kamps, A.M., Arnberg, A.C. Cell (1987) [Pubmed]
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