Crystal structure and mechanistic investigation of the twister ribozyme

Yijin Liu, Timothy J. Wilson, Scott A. McPhee, David M. J. Lilley (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    103 Citations (Scopus)


    We present a crystal structure at 2.3-Å resolution of the recently described nucleolytic ribozyme twister. The RNA adopts a previously uncharacterized compact fold based on a double-pseudoknot structure, with the active site at its center. Eight highly conserved nucleobases stabilize the core of the ribozyme through the formation of one Watson-Crick and three noncanonical base pairs, and the highly conserved adenine 3' of the scissile phosphate is bound in the major groove of an adjacent pseudoknot. A strongly conserved guanine nucleobase directs its Watson-Crick edge toward the scissile phosphate in the crystal structure, and mechanistic evidence supports a role for this guanine as either a general base or acid in a concerted, general acid-base-catalyzed cleavage reaction.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)739-744
    Number of pages6
    JournalNature Chemical Biology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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