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RNA Biol. 2009 Sep-Oct;6(4):362-9. Epub 2009 Sep 9.

The RNase P family.

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Laboratory of Signal Transduction, NIEHS, NC, USA.


Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is a ribonucleoprotein comprised of a catalytic RNA subunit and one or several protein subunits. RNase P is best known for its role in 5'-processing of tRNA precursors. RNase P enzymes from almost all forms of life, including protein-synthesizing organelles, contain an RNase P with a conserved, homologous RNA. Five distinct structure classes of RNase P RNAs have been identified in bacteria and archaea; eukaryotic RNase P RNAs are not yet sufficiently well surveyed for structure classes to be defined. Here we will examine the structure variations in RNase P RNAs in bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes, plastids and mitochondria with special emphasis on the functional roles these unique secondary structures perform.

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