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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Aug 5;94(16):8521-6.

In vitro selection of a 7-methyl-guanosine binding RNA that inhibits translation of capped mRNA molecules.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5402, USA.


Using systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), an RNA molecule was isolated that displays a 1,000-fold higher affinity for guanosine residues that carry an N-7 methyl group than for nonmethylated guanosine residues. The methylated guanosine residue closely resembles the 5' terminal cap structure present on all eukaryotic mRNA molecules. The cap-binding RNA specifically inhibited the translation of capped but not uncapped mRNA molecules in cell-free lysates prepared from either human HeLa cells or from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These findings indicate that the cap-binding RNA will also be useful in studies of other cap-dependent processes such as pre-mRNA splicing and nucleocytoplasmic mRNA transport.

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