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Biochemistry. 1995 Mar 21;34(11):3640-8.

High-affinity RNA ligands to Escherichia coli ribosomes and ribosomal protein S1: comparison of natural and unnatural binding sites.

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  • 1University of Colorado, Boulder 80309.


High-affinity RNA ligands were generated against intact 30S ribosomes, S1-depleted 30S ribosomes, and purified ribosomal protein S1. Sequence analysis indicated two classes of ligand: unstructured RNAs containing a Shine-Dalgarno sequence and structured RNAs containing a pseudoknot. The Shine-Dalgarno-containing ligands were generated against S1-depleted 30S ribosomes but, surprisingly, not against intact 30S ribosomes or ribosomal protein S1. In contrast, pseudoknot-containing ligands were generated against intact ribosomes as well as purified S1 protein. The two classes of ligand exhibited specificity for their respective targets, as well as conserved sequence and secondary structure reminiscent of naturally occurring, cis-acting mRNA elements.

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