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Trends Biochem Sci. 2006 Jun;31(6):333-41. Epub 2006 May 6.

RNase P: interface of the RNA and protein worlds.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Campus Box 347, Boulder, CO 80309-0347, USA.


Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is an endonuclease involved in processing tRNA. It contains both RNA and protein subunits and occurs in all three domains of life: namely, Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The RNase P RNA subunits from bacteria and some archaea are catalytically active in vitro, whereas those from eukaryotes and most archaea require protein subunits for activity. RNase P has been characterized biochemically and genetically in several systems, and detailed structural information is emerging for both RNA and protein subunits from phylogenetically diverse organisms. In vitro reconstitution of activity is providing insight into the role of proteins in the RNase P holoenzyme. Together, these findings are beginning to impart an understanding of the coevolution of the RNA and protein worlds.

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