Section 11
Chapter 10,679

Formation of a GNRA tetraloop in P5abc can disrupt an interdomain interaction in the Tetrahymena group i ribozyme

Zheng, M.; Wu, M.; Tinoco, I.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 98(7): 3695-3700


ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8424
PMID: 11274387
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.051608598
Accession: 010678057

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The secondary structure of a truncated P5abc subdomain (tP5abc, a 56-nucleotide RNA) of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron ribozyme changes when its tertiary structure forms. We have now used heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy to determine its conformation in solution. The tP5abc RNA that contains only secondary structure is extended compared with the tertiary folded form; both forms coexist in slow chemical exchange (the interconversion rate constant is slower than 1 s(-1)) in the presence of magnesium. Kinetic experiments have shown that tertiary folding of the P5abc subdomain is one of the earliest folding transitions in the group I intron ribozyme, and that it leads to a metastable misfolded intermediate. Previous mutagenesis studies suggest that formation of the extended P5abc structure described here destabilize a misfolded intermediate. This study shows that the P5abc RNA subdomain containing a GNRA tetraloop in P5c (in contrast to the five-nucleotide loop P5c in the tertiary folded ribozyme) can disrupt the base-paired interdomain (P14) interaction between P5c and P2.

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