A mechanistic comparison of the varkud satellite and hairpin ribozymes

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    The hairpin and Varkud satellite ribozymes are two members of the class of nucleolytic ribozymes that catalyze cleavage and ligation reactions at a specific site. Cleavage occurs by a transesterification reaction whereby the 2'-O attacks the adjacent phosphorus with departure of the 5'-O to leave a 2',3'-cyclic phosphate. The structures of both ribozymes are now known. Although the sequences and structures of these ribozymes are generally unrelated, the topological organization and the arrangement of the active sites are the same for both. Both mechanistic and structural data indicate that the ribozymes employ general acid-base catalysis to accelerate the transesterification reactions, using guanine and adenine nucleobases as the general base and acid, respectively, in the cleavage reactions. As a class, the nucleolytic ribozymes all appear to use general acid-base catalysis; guanine nucleobases in particular are very common participants.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCatalytic RNA
    EditorsGarrett A. Soukup
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherAcademic Press
    Number of pages29
    ISBN (Print)9780123812865
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Publication series

    NameProgress in molecular biology and translational science
    PublisherAcademic Press
    ISSN (Print)1877-1173


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