Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 1998 Dec 15;17(24):7505-13.

Molecular basis of double-stranded RNA-protein interactions: structure of a dsRNA-binding domain complexed with dsRNA.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0215, USA.


Protein interactions with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) are critical for many cell processes; however, in contrast to protein-dsDNA interactions, surprisingly little is known about the molecular basis of protein-dsRNA interactions. A large and diverse class of proteins that bind dsRNA do so by utilizing an approximately 70 amino acid motif referred to as the dsRNA-binding domain (dsRBD). We have determined a 1.9 A resolution crystal structure of the second dsRBD of Xenopus laevis RNA-binding protein A complexed with dsRNA. The structure shows that the protein spans 16 bp of dsRNA, interacting with two successive minor grooves and across the intervening major groove on one face of a primarily A-form RNA helix. The nature of these interactions explains dsRBD specificity for dsRNA (over ssRNA or dsDNA) and the apparent lack of sequence specificity. Interestingly, the dsRBD fold resembles a portion of the conserved core structure of a family of polynucleotidyl transferases that includes RuvC, MuA transposase, retroviral integrase and RNase H. Structural comparisons of the dsRBD-dsRNA complex and models proposed for polynucleotidyl transferase-nucleic acid complexes suggest that similarities in nucleic acid binding also exist between these families of proteins.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk