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J Mol Biol. 1996 Mar 8;256(4):701-19.

Comprehensive comparison of structural characteristics in eukaryotic cytoplasmic large subunit (23 S-like) ribosomal RNA.

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Program in Evolutionary Biology, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Department of Biochemistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


Comparative modeling of secondary structure is a proven approach to predicting higher order structural elements in homologous RNA molecules. Here we present the results of a comprehensive comparison of newly modeled or refined secondary structures for the cytoplasmic large subunit (23 S-like) rRNA of eukaryotes. This analysis, which covers a broad phylogenetic spectrum within the eukaryotic lineage, has defined regions that differ widely in their degree of structural conservation, ranging from a core of primary sequence and secondary structure that is virtually invariant, to highly variable regions. New comparative information allows us to propose structures for many of the variable regions that had not been modeled before, and rigorously to confirm or refine variable region structures previously proposed by us or others. The present analysis also serves to identify phylogenetically informative features of primary and secondary structure that characterize these models of eukaryotic cytoplasmic 23 S-like rRNA. Finally, the work summarized here provides a basis for experimental studies designed both to test further the validity of the proposed secondary structures and to explore structure-function relationships.

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