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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Sep 1;25(17):3471-7.

The RNase P RNA from cyanobacteria: short tandemly repeated repetitive (STRR) sequences are present within the RNase P RNA gene in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria.

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Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis, Centro de Investigaciones Isla de la Cartuja, Universidad de Sevilla-CSIC, Avenida Americo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Sevilla, Spain.


The RNase P RNA gene (rnpB) from 10 cyanobacteria has been characterized. These new RNAs, together with the previously available ones, provide a comprehensive data set of RNase P RNA from diverse cyanobacterial lineages. All heterocystous cyanobacteria, but none of the non-heterocystous strains analyzed, contain short tandemly repeated repetitive (STRR) sequences that increase the length of helix P12. Site-directed mutagenesis experiments indicate that the STRR sequences are not required for catalytic activity in vitro. STRR sequences seem to have recently and independently invaded the RNase P RNA genes in heterocyst-forming cyanobacteria because closely related strains contain unrelated STRR sequences. Most cyanobacteria RNase P RNAs lack the sequence GGU in the loop connecting helices P15 and P16 that has been established to interact with the 3'-end CCA in precursor tRNA substrates in other bacteria. This character is shared with plastid RNase P RNA. Helix P6 is longer than usual in most cyanobacteria as well as in plastid RNase P RNA.

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