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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Jun;11(6):3390-4.

Template-directed primer extension catalyzed by the Tetrahymena ribozyme.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


The Tetrahymena ribozyme has been shown to catalyze an RNA polymerase-like reaction in which an RNA primer is extended by the sequential addition of pN nucleotides derived from GpN dinucleotides, where N = A, C, or U. Here, we show that this reaction is influenced by the presence of a template; bases that can form Watson-Crick base pairs with a template add as much as 25-fold more efficiently than mismatched bases. A mutant enzyme with an altered guanosine binding site can catalyze template-directed primer extension with all four bases when supplied with dinucleotides of the form 2-aminopurine-pN.

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