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Do the hairpin and VS ribozymes share a common catalytic mechanism based on general acid-base catalysis?

Do the hairpin and VS ribozymes share a common catalytic mechanism based on general acid-base catalysis?: A critical assessment of available experimental data

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Authors

  • Timothy J. Wilson
  • David M. J. Lilley

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Original languageEnglish
Pages213-221
Number of pages9
JournalRNA: a Publication of the RNA Society
Journal publication dateFeb 2011
Volume17
Issue2
DOIs
StatePublished

Abstract

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.

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