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Mol Cell. 2002 Feb;9(2):329-39.

The sigma(70)-like motif: a eukaryotic RNA binding domain unique to a superfamily of proteins required for ribosome biogenesis.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Genetics, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


Little is understood about the role of nucleolar RNA binding proteins in ribosome biogenesis, although there is a clear need for them based on the strict folding requirements of the pre-rRNA. We have identified a superfamily of RNA binding proteins whose members are required for different stages of ribosome biogenesis. The Imp4 superfamily is composed of five individual families (Imp4, Rpf1, Rpf2, Brx1, and Ssf) that all possess the sigma(70)-like motif, a eukaryotic RNA binding domain with prokaryotic origins. The Imp4 superfamily members associate with RNAs that are consistent with their distinct roles in ribosome biogenesis and suggest the mechanisms by which they function.

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