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

Further perspective on the catalytic core and secondary structure of ribonuclease P RNA.

Phylogenetic comparative analyses of RNase P RNA-encoding gene sequences from Chlorobium limicola, Chlorobium tepidum, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, and Flavobacterium yabuuchiae refine the secondary structure model of the general (eu)bacterial RNase P RNA and show that a highly conserved feature of that RNA is not essential. Two helices, comprised of 2 base pairs each, are added to the secondary structure model and form part of a cruciform in the RNA. Novel sequence variations in the B. thetaiotaomicron and F. yabuuchiae RNA indicate the likelihood that all secondary structure resulting from canonical base-pairing has been detected: there are no remaining unpaired, contiguous, canonical complementarities in the structure model common to all bacterial RNase P RNAs. A nomenclature for the elements of the completed secondary structure model is proposed. The Chlorobium RNase P RNAs lack a stem-loop structure that is otherwise universally present and highly conserved in structure in other (eu)bacterial RNase P RNAs. The Chlorobium RNAs are nevertheless catalytic, with kinetic properties similar to those of RNase P RNAs of Escherichia coli and other Bacteria. Removal of this stem-loop structure from the E. coli RNA affects neither its affinity for nor its catalytic rate for cleavage of a precursor transfer RNA substrate. These results show that this structural element does not play a direct role in substrate binding or catalysis.[1]


  1. Further perspective on the catalytic core and secondary structure of ribonuclease P RNA. Haas, E.S., Brown, J.W., Pitulle, C., Pace, N.R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1994) [Pubmed]
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