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Science. 2009 Nov 13;326(5955):953. doi: 10.1126/science.1178084.

Widespread occurrence of self-cleaving ribozymes.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697 USA.

Abstract

Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein 3 (CPEB3) ribozymes form a family of self-cleaving RNAs characterized by a conserved nested double-pseudoknot and minimal sequence conservation. Secondary structure-based searches were used to identify sequences capable of forming this fold, and their self-cleavage activity was confirmed in vitro. Active sequences were uncovered in several marine organisms, two nematodes, an arthropod, a bacterium, and an insect virus, often in multiple sequence families and copies. Sequence searches based on identified ribozymes showed that plants, fungi, and a unicellular eukaryote also harbor the ribozymes. In Anopheles gambiae, the ribozymes were found differentially expressed and self-cleaved at basic developmental stages. Our results indicate that HDV-like ribozymes are abundant in nature and suggest that self-cleaving RNAs may play a variety of biological roles.

PMID:
19965505
PMCID:
PMC3159031
DOI:
10.1126/science.1178084
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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