Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2017 Dec;47:30-39. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2017 May 18.

The group II intron maturase: a reverse transcriptase and splicing factor go hand in hand.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Department of Chemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chevy Chase, MD 20815, USA. Electronic address:


The splicing of group II introns in vivo requires the assistance of a multifunctional intron encoded protein (IEP, or maturase). Each IEP is also a reverse-transcriptase enzyme that enables group II introns to behave as mobile genetic elements. During splicing or retro-transposition, each group II intron forms a tight, specific complex with its own encoded IEP, resulting in a highly reactive holoenzyme. This review focuses on the structural basis for IEP function, as revealed by recent crystal structures of an IEP reverse transcriptase domain and cryo-EM structures of an IEP-intron complex. These structures explain how the same IEP scaffold is utilized for intron recognition, splicing and reverse transcription, while providing a physical basis for understanding the evolutionary transformation of the IEP into the eukaryotic splicing factor Prp8.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center