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Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34(18):5145-56. Epub 2006 Sep 22.

Inventory and analysis of the protein subunits of the ribonucleases P and MRP provides further evidence of homology between the yeast and human enzymes.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Institute of Biomedicine, Goteborg University, Box 413 SE-405 30 Goteborg, Sweden.


The RNases P and MRP are involved in tRNA and rRNA processing, respectively. Both enzymes in eukaryotes are composed of an RNA molecule and 9-12 protein subunits. Most of the protein subunits are shared between RNases P and MRP. We have here performed a computational analysis of the protein subunits in a broad range of eukaryotic organisms using profile-based searches and phylogenetic methods. A number of novel homologues were identified, giving rise to a more complete inventory of RNase P/MRP proteins. We present evidence of a relationship between fungal Pop8 and the protein subunit families Rpp14/Pop5 as well as between fungal Pop6 and metazoan Rpp25. These relationships further emphasize a structural and functional similarity between the yeast and human P/MRP complexes. We have also identified novel P and MRP RNAs and analysis of all available sequences revealed a K-turn motif in a large number of these RNAs. We suggest that this motif is a binding site for the Pop3/Rpp38 proteins and we discuss other structural features of the RNA subunit and possible relationships to the protein subunit repertoire.

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