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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2005 Jun;15(3):313-23.

Structure, folding and mechanisms of ribozymes.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK Nucleic Acid Structure Research Group, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.


The past two years have seen exciting developments in RNA catalysis. A completely new ribozyme (possibly two) has come along and several new structures have been determined, including three different group I intron species. Although the origins of catalysis remain incompletely understood, a significant convergence of views has happened in the past year, together with the discovery of new super-fast ribozymes. There is persuasive evidence of general acid-base chemistry in nucleolytic ribozymes, whereas catalysis of peptidyl transfer in the ribosome seems to result largely from orientation and proximity effects. Lastly, important new folding-enhancing elements have been discovered.

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