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Biochimie. 1992 Apr;74(4):319-26.

Structure-function correlations (and discrepancies) in the 16S ribosomal RNA from Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Genetik, Abteilung Wittmann, Berlin, Germany.


The published model for the three-dimensional arrangement of E coli 16S RNA is re-examined in the light of new experimental information, in particular cross-linking data with functional ligands and cross-links between the 16S and 23S RNA molecules. A growing body of evidence suggests that helix 18 (residues 500-545), helix 34 (residues 1046-1067/1189-1211) and helix 44 (residues 1409-1491) are incorrectly located in the model. It now appears that the functional sites in helices 18 and 34 may be close to the decoding site of the 30S subunit, rather than being on the opposite side of the 'head' of the subunit, as hitherto supposed. Helix 44 is now clearly located at the interface between the 30S and 50S subunits. Furthermore, almost all of the modified bases in both 16S and 23S RNA appear to form a tight cluster near to the upper end of this helix, surrounding the decoding site.

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