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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 May 15;29(10):2106-16.

Role of the ITS2-proximal stem and evidence for indirect recognition of processing sites in pre-rRNA processing in yeast.

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Genetics and Biochemistry Branch, 10 Center Drive, National Institutes of Health, NIDDK, Bethesda, MD 20892-1766, USA.


Eucaryotic ribosome biogenesis involves many cis-acting sequences and trans-acting factors, including snoRNAS: We have used directed mutagenesis of rDNA plasmids in yeast to identify critical sequence and structural elements within and flanking the ITS2-proximal stem. This base paired structure, present in the mature ribosome, is formed between the 5'-end of 25S and the 3'-end of 5.8S rRNAS: Previously we demonstrated that formation of this structure was critical for pre-rRNA processing in yeast. Here we show that there are no sequence-specific recognition elements within the ITS2-proximal stem, rather the structure of this stem is critical for processing. This stem cannot exceed a specific length, but there are different length restrictions for different regions within this tripartite stem. Neither the conserved unpaired nucleotides within the stem nor the sequence of the mature rRNA at the processing sites are required for processing. Collectively, these results suggest a measuring model whereby initial cleavage within ITS2 at the C2 processing site and termination of subsequent exonuclease activity yielding the mature termini are affected by the relative position of sequence and structural elements within the ITS2-proximal stem.

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