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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41398. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041398. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

A novel association between two trypanosome-specific factors and the conserved L5-5S rRNA complex.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, United States of America.


P34 and P37 are two previously identified RNA binding proteins in the flagellate protozoan Trypanosoma brucei. RNA interference studies have determined that the proteins are involved in and essential for ribosome biogenesis. The proteins interact with the 5S rRNA with nearly identical binding characteristics. We have shown that this interaction is achieved mainly through the LoopA region of the RNA, but P34 and P37 also protect the L5 binding site located on LoopC. We now provide evidence to show that these factors form a novel pre-ribosomal particle through interactions with both 5S rRNA and the L5 ribosomal protein. Further in silico and in vitro analysis of T. brucei L5 indicates a lower affinity for 5S rRNA than expected, based on other eukaryotic L5 proteins. We hypothesize that P34 and P37 complement L5 and bridge the interaction with 5S rRNA, stabilizing it and aiding in the early steps of ribosome biogenesis.

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