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Nature. 1985 Aug 15-21;316(6029):641-3.

Mitochondrial class II introns encode proteins related to the reverse transcriptases of retroviruses.


Organelle introns share several distinctive features that set them apart from their counterparts in nuclear-encoded pre-messenger RNAs (reviewed in ref. 1): their termini do not obey the GU...AG rule; the introns are 'structured' (members of the same family or 'class' can theoretically adopt very similar RNA secondary conformations and several of the postulated pairings have been confirmed by studies of splicing mutants and their revertants (see, for example, ref. 4); many introns from both classes contain long open reading frames. We report here that the proteins potentially encoded by four class II introns are related to several RNA-dependent polymerases of viral and transposable element origins.

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