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Mol Cell. 2003 Feb;11(2):425-35.

Ribosome structure and activity are altered in cells lacking snoRNPs that form pseudouridines in the peptidyl transferase center.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


One of the oldest questions in RNA science is the role of nucleotide modification. Here, the importance of pseudouridine formation (Psi) in the peptidyl transferase center of rRNA was examined by depleting yeast cells of 1-5 snoRNAs that guide a total of six Psi modifications. Translation was impaired substantially with loss of a conserved Psi in the A site of tRNA binding. Depletion of other Psis had subtle or no apparent effect on activity; however, synergistic effects were observed in some combinations. Pseudouridines are proposed to enhance ribosome activity by altering rRNA folding and interactions, with some Psis having greater effects than others. The possibility that modifying snoRNPs might affect ribosome structure in other ways is also discussed.

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