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Cell. 1986 Oct 24;47(2):207-16.

One binding site determines sequence specificity of Tetrahymena pre-rRNA self-splicing, trans-splicing, and RNA enzyme activity.


The specificity of reactions catalyzed by the Tetrahymena pre-rRNA intervening sequence (IVS) was studied using site-specific mutagenesis. Two sequences required for 5' splice-site selection during self-splicing were defined. Single-base changes in either a 5' exon sequence or a 5' exon-binding site within the IVS disrupt their ability to pair and result in inefficient or inaccurate splicing. Combinations that restore complementarity suppress the effect of the single-base changes. Sequence alterations in the 5' exon-binding site also change the specificity of two other reactions: intermolecular exon ligation (trans-splicing) and the enzymatic nucleotidyltransferase activity of the IVS RNA. Thus the substrate specificity of an RNA enzyme can be changed in a manner predictable by the rules of Watson-Crick base-pairing.

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