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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2002 Jun;12(3):301-10.

The accuracy of ribosomal RNA comparative structure models.

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Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, and Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas, 2500 Speedway, Austin, Texas 78712-1095, USA.


The determination of the 16S and 23S rRNA secondary structure models was initiated shortly after the first complete 16S and 23S rRNA sequences were determined in the late 1970s. The structures that are common to all 16S rRNAs and all 23S rRNAs were determined using comparative methods from the analysis of thousands of rRNA sequences. Twenty-plus years later, the 16S and 23S rRNA comparative structure models have been evaluated against the recently determined high-resolution crystal structures of the 30S and 50S ribosomal subunits. Nearly all of the predicted covariation-based base pairs, including the regular base pairs and helices, and the irregular base pairs and tertiary interactions, were present in the 30S and 50S crystal structures.

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