Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
The active centers of the hairpin and VS ribozymes are both generated by the interaction of two internal loops, and both ribozymes use guanine and adenine nucleobases to accelerate cleavage and ligation reactions. The centers are topologically equivalent and the relative positioning of key elements the same. There is good evidence that the cleavage reaction of the VS ribozyme is catalyzed by the guanine (G638) acting as general base and the adenine (A756) as general acid. We now critically evaluate the experimental mechanistic evidence for the hairpin ribozyme. We conclude that all the available data are fully consistent with a major contribution to catalysis by general acid-base catalysis involving the adenine (A38) and guanine (G8). It appears that the two ribozymes are mechanistically equivalent.