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RNA. 2010 Apr;16(4):805-16. doi: 10.1261/rna.1979410. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Simple, recurring RNA binding sites for L-arginine.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado 80309, USA.


Seven new arginine binding motifs have been selected from a heterogeneous RNA pool containing 17, 25, and 50mer randomized tracts, yielding 131 independently derived binding sites that are multiply isolated. The shortest 17mer random region is sufficient to build varied arginine binding sites using five different conserved motifs (motifs 1a, 1b, 1c, 2, and 4). Dissociation constants are in the fractional millimolar to millimolar range. Binding sites are amino acid side-chain specific and discriminate moderately between L- and D-stereoisomers of arginine, suggesting a molecular focus on side-chain guanidinium. An arginine coding triplet (codon/anticodon) is highly conserved within the largest family of Arg sites (72% of all sequences), as has also been found in minimal, most prevalent RNA binding sites for Ile, His, and Trp.

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