The structure and function of catalytic RNAs.
ABSTRACT Before the discovery of ribozymes, RNA had been proposed to function as a catalyst, based on the discovery that RNA folded into high-ordered structures as protein did. This hypothesis was confirmed in the 1980s, after the discovery of Tetrahymena group I intron and RNase P ribozyme. There have been about ten ribozymes identified during the past thirty years, as well as the fact that ribosomes function as ribozymes. Advances have been made in understanding the structures and functions of ribozymes, with numerous crystal structures resolved in the past years. Here we review the structure-function relationship of both small and large ribozymes, especially the structural basis of their catalysis. ribozyme, structure, catalysis.
Article: Computational discovery and RT-PCR validation of novel Burkholderia conserved and Burkholderia pseudomallei unique sRNAs[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: The sRNAs of bacterial pathogens are known to be involved in various cellular roles including environmental adaptation as well as regulation of virulence and pathogenicity. It is expected that sRNAs may also have similar functions for Burkholderia pseudomallei, a soil bacterium that can adapt to diverse environmental conditions, which causes the disease melioidosis and is also able to infect a wide variety of hosts. Results: By integrating several proven sRNA prediction programs into a computational pipeline, available Burkholderia spp. genomes were screened to identify sRNA gene candidates. Orthologous sRNA candidates were then identified via comparative analysis. From the total prediction, 21 candidates were found to have Rfam homologs. RT-PCR and sequencing of candidate sRNA genes of unknown functions revealed six putative sRNAs which were highly conserved in Burkholderia spp. and two that were unique to B. pseudomallei present in a normal culture conditions transcriptome. The validated sRNAs include potential cis-acting elements associated with the modulation of methionine metabolism and one B. pseudomallei-specific sRNA that is expected to bind to the Hfq protein. Conclusions: The use of the pipeline developed in this study and subsequent comparative analysis have successfully aided in the discovery and shortlisting of sRNA gene candidates for validation. This integrated approach identified 29 B. pseudomallei sRNA genes -of which 21 have Rfam homologs and 8 are novel.BMC Genomics 12/2012; · 4.07 Impact Factor