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Biochimie. 1994;76(12):1123-8.

Methylation of the conserved A1518-A1519 in Escherichia coli 16S ribosomal RNA by the ksgA methyltransferase is influenced by methylations around the similarly conserved U1512.G1523 base pair in the 3' terminal hairpin.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, The Netherlands.


An in vitro system developed for the site-specific mutagenesis of 16S rRNA of Escherichia coli ribosomes was used to make five mutations around the highly conserved U1512.G1523 base pair in the 3' terminal hairpin. Each of the mutant RNAs was reconstituted with a complete mixture of 30S proteins to yield 30S ribosomal particles, which were tested for the ability of the ksgA methylase to form m6(2)A1518 and m6(2)A1519. Dimethylation of A1518 and A1519 in the hairpin loop was inhibited 20-80% by the mutations. The results indicate that G1523 and C1524 in the stem are important determinants for the dimethylation of A1518 and A1519 in the loop. Either the enzyme recognition region extends that far or the effect of mutations in the stem are propagated in some manner to the loop. The conserved U.G base pair does not of itself appear to play a major role in ksgA methylase recognition.

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