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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Jun 7;1576(1-2):39-44.

The abundant class of nemis repeats provides RNA substrates for ribonuclease III in Neisseriae.

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Dipartimento di Biologia e Patologia Cellulare e Molecolare, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via S. Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy.


About 2% of the Neisseria meningitidis genome is made up by nemis, short DNA sequences which feature long terminal inverted repeats (TIRs). Most nemis are interspersed with single-copy DNA and are found at close distance from cellular genes. In this work, we demonstrate than RNAs spanning nemis of different length and sequence compositions are specifically cleaved at hairpins formed by nemis termini by total cellular lysates derived from both Escherichia coli and Neisseria lactamica strains. The use of cellular extracts from E. coli strains impaired in the activity of known ribonucleases let to establish that cleavage at nemis TIRs is specifically mediated by the endoribonuclease RNase III. Data set the base for the identification of all of the neisserial genes that are regulated by RNase III because of their physical association with nemis DNA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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