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J Mol Biol. 2003 Jul 4;330(2):177-83.

Stepwise conversion of a mesophilic to a thermophilic ribozyme.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Chicago, 920 E 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.

Abstract

A fundamental question in RNA folding is the mechanism of thermodynamic stability. We investigated the equilibrium folding of a series of sequence variants in which one to three motifs of a 255-nucleotide mesophilic ribozyme were substituted with the corresponding motifs from its thermophilic homologue. Substitution of three crucial motifs individually or in groups results in a continual increase in the stability and folding cooperativity in a stepwise fashion. We find an unexpected relationship between stability and folding cooperativity. Without changing the folding cooperativity, RNAs having a similar native structure can only achieve moderate change in stability and likewise, without changing stability, RNAs having a similar native structure can only achieve moderate change in folding cooperativity. This intricate relationship must be included in the predictions of tertiary RNA stability.

PMID:
12823959
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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