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Yeast. 1995 Oct;11(13):1249-64.

Schizosaccharomyces pombe RNase MRP RNA is homologous to metazoan RNase MRP RNAs and may provide clues to interrelationships between RNase MRP and RNase P.

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Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5427, USA.


RNase MRP and RNase P ribonucleoproteins are structurally and functionally similar across a large evolutionary distance. To better characterize possible complex interrelationships between these two enzymes, we have employed the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Unlike Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. pombe is believed to harbour only one genetic locus for the RNA component of RNase P and does not contain a known mitochondrially encoded RNase P RNA. We have identified the single nuclear gene for the RNA component of RNase MRP in S. pombe, mrp-1, by homology to vertebrate RNase MRP RNAs. The mrp-1 gene encodes an RNA of maximum mature length 400 nucleotides that shares a high degree of identity, in evolutionarily conserved regions, to both vertebrate RNase MRP RNAs and S. pombe RNase P RNA. Disruption of mrp-1 in the diploid strain SP826 and sporulation of tetrads resulted in a 2 dead:2 viable segregation, consistent with the gene being essential. Lethality is rescued by a plasmid-borne copy of mrp-1. Partially purified ribonucleoprotein RNase MRP activity correctly and efficiently processed all previously characterized heterologous mitochondrial RNA substrates. The compact mitochondrial genome of S. pombe contains sequence elements with > 50% identity to mammalian D-loop CSBI and CSBII elements. The identification of mrp-1 in S. pombe should facilitate not only comparisons between the related ribonucleoproteins RNase MRP and RNase P, but should also provide an opportunity for genetic elucidation of RNase MRP function in a situation reflective of the animal kingdom.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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