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A tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase can function similarly to an RNA structure in the Tetrahymena ribozyme.

Group I introns are highly structured RNAs which catalyse their own splicing by guanosine-initiated transesterification reactions. Their catalytic core is generally stabilized by RNA-RNA interactions within the core and with peripheral RNA structures. Additionally, some group I introns require proteins for efficient splicing in vivo. The Neurospora CYT-18 protein, the mitochondrial tyrosyl-transfer RNA synthetase (mt TyrRS), promotes splicing of the Neurospora mitochondrial large ribosomal RNA (LSU) and other group I introns by stabilizing the catalytically active structure of the intron core. We report here that CYT-18 functions similarly to a peripheral RNA structure, P5abc, that stabilizes the catalytic core of the Tetrahymena LSU intron. The CYT-18 protein and P5abc RNA bind to overlapping sites in the intron core, inducing similar conformational changes correlated with splicing activity. Our results show that a protein can play the role of an RNA structure in a catalytic RNA, a substitution postulated for the evolution of nuclear pre-messenger RNA introns from self-splicing introns.[1]

References

  1. A tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase can function similarly to an RNA structure in the Tetrahymena ribozyme. Mohr, G., Caprara, M.G., Guo, Q., Lambowitz, A.M. Nature (1994) [Pubmed]
 
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