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Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Mar;32(3):138-45. Epub 2007 Feb 7.

Folding of group II introns: a model system for large, multidomain RNAs?

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University, 266 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Erratum in

  • Trends Biochem Sci. 2007 Jun;32(6):251.


Group II introns are among the largest ribozymes in nature. They have a highly complex tertiary architecture that enables them to catalyze numerous processes, including self-splicing and transposition reactions that have probably contributed to the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. Biophysical analyses show that, despite their large size, these RNAs can fold to their native state through direct pathways that are populated by structurally defined intermediates. In addition, proteins have specific and important roles in this folding process. As a consequence, the study of the group II introns provides a valuable system for both exploring the driving forces behind the folding of multidomain RNA molecules and investigating ribonucleoprotein assembly.

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