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Chem Biol. 2004 Jan;11(1):57-67.

Dinucleotide junction cleavage versatility of 8-17 deoxyribozyme.

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Department of Biochemistry, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.


We conducted 16 parallel in vitro selection experiments to isolate catalytic DNAs from a common DNA library for the cleavage of all 16 possible dinucleotide junctions of RNA incorporated into a common DNA/RNA chimeric substrate sequence. We discovered hundreds of sequence variations of the 8-17 deoxyribozyme--an RNA-cleaving catalytic DNA motif previously reported--from nearly all 16 final pools. Sequence analyses identified four absolutely conserved nucleotides in 8-17. Five representative 8-17 variants were tested for substrate cleavage in trans, and together they were able to cleave 14 dinucleotide junctions. New 8-17 variants required Mn2+ to support their broad dinucleotide cleavage capabilities. We hypothesize that 8-17 has a tertiary structure composed of an enzymatic core executing catalysis and a structural facilitator providing structural fine tuning when different dinucleotide junctions are given as cleavage sites.

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