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RNA Biol. 2016;13(2):254-7. doi: 10.1080/15476286.2015.1130209.

Recognition of a pseudo-symmetric RNA tetranucleotide by Csx3, a new member of the CRISPR associated Rossmann fold superfamily.

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a Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry , Montana State University , Bozeman , MT 59717 , USA.


The CRISPR/Cas adaptive immune system shows extreme diversity in the number of CRISPR/Cas types and subtypes, and in the multitude of CRISPR associated protein families of which they are composed. Despite this diversity, the roles of many Cas protein families are now defined with regard to spacer acquisition, crRNA biogenesis, and DNA or RNA surveillance and targeting. However, a number of unclassified CRISPR-Cas proteins remain. Such proteins have traditionally been designated as CRISPR subtype x (Csx). Here we revisit the structural analysis of one such protein, Csx3, and show that this homodimeric protein utilizes a Rossmann fold for the recognition of an RNA tetranucleotide. Tertiary and quaternary structural similarities of Csx3 to CRISPR/Cas proteins Csx1 and Csa3 are identified and suggest Csx3 is a new member of the CRISPR Associated Rossmann Fold (CARF) superfamily. The structure of the Csx3/RNA complex illustrates one way CARF domain proteins may recognize pseudo-symmetric polynucleotides.


CARF; CRISPR; CRISPR/Cas; Cas; Csa3; Csm6; Csx1; Csx3

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