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Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Apr 11;16(7):2931-42.

Dependence of M1 RNA substrate specificity on magnesium ion concentration.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Missouri-Columbia 65212.


We have constructed a plasmid expressing E. coli M1 RNA, the catalytic RNA subunit of ribonuclease P, under the control of a phage T7 promoter. The active M1 RNA species synthesized in vitro by T7 RNA polymerase from this vector was reacted with the tRNA(Gln) - tRNA(Leu) precursor RNA (Band K) encoded by phage T4. Only the tRNA(Leu) moiety of this dimeric precursor RNA contains the 3' terminal C-C-A sequence common to all tRNAs. We observed that protein-free M1 RNA was capable of processing the precursor RNA at the 5' ends of both tRNA tRNA sequences. The rate of cleavage of the tRNA(Gln) sequence was more strongly dependent on [Mg2+] than that of tRNA(Leu), increasing severalfold between 100 and 500 mM Mg2+, conditions under which the rate of cleavage at the tRNA(Leu) sequence was constant.

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