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Nat Struct Biol. 1997 Jul;4(7):553-8.

A magnesium ion core at the heart of a ribozyme domain.

Author information

1
Dept. of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.

Abstract

Large ribozymes require divalent metal ions to fold. We show here that the tertiary structure of the Tetrahymena group I intron P4-P6 domain nucleates around a magnesium ion core. In the domain crystal structure, five magnesium ions bind in a three-helix junction at the centre of the molecule. Single atom changes in any one of four magnesium sites in this three-helix junction destroy folding of the entire 160-nucleotide P4-P6 domain. The magnesium ion core may be the RNA counterpart to the protein hydrophobic core, burying parts of the RNA molecule in the native structure.

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PMID:
9228948
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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