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

Phylogenetic comparative chemical footprint analysis of the interaction between ribonuclease P RNA and tRNA.

Ribonuclease P RNA is the catalytic moiety of the ribonucleoprotein enzyme that endonucleolytically cleaves precursor sequences from the 5' ends of pre-tRNAs. The bacterial RNase P RNA-tRNA complex was examined with a footprinting approach, utilizing chemical modification to determine RNase P RNA nucleotides that potentially contact tRNA. RNase P RNA was modified with dimethylsulfate or kethoxal in the presence or absence of tRNA, and sites of modification were detected by primer extension. Comparison of the results reveals RNase P bases that are protected from modification upon binding tRNA. Analyses were carried out with RNase P RNAs from three different bacteria: Escherichia coli, Chromatium vinosum and Bacillus subtilis. Discrete bases of these RNAs that lie within conserved, homologous portions of the secondary structures are similarly protected. One protection among all three RNAs was attributed to the precursor segment of pre-tRNA. Experiments using pre-tRNAs containing precursor segments of variable length demonstrate that a precursor segment of only 2-4 nucleotides is sufficient to confer this protection. Deletion of the 3'-terminal CCA sequence of tRNA correlates with loss of protection of a particular loop in the RNase P RNA secondary structure. Analysis of mutant tRNAs containing sequential 3'-terminal deletions suggests a relative orientation of the bound tRNA CCA to that loop.[1]


  1. Phylogenetic comparative chemical footprint analysis of the interaction between ribonuclease P RNA and tRNA. LaGrandeur, T.E., Hüttenhofer, A., Noller, H.F., Pace, N.R. EMBO J. (1994) [Pubmed]
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