Our previous ribozyme-related research.
The VS plasmid RNA transcript contains a self-cleaving and self-ligating motif called the VS ribozyme, which is involved in processing multimeric plasmid RNA to monomeric circular RNA during its replication cycle. A few other “small nucleolytic” ribozymes catalyze a chemically-similar step in the processing other RNAs (e.g. human hepatitis delta virus, the hammerhead and hairpin ribozymes of certain plant viral RNAs, and the metabolite-sensing glmS ribozyme).
Among the highlights of our work were the discoveries that ribozymes are capable of much faster catalysis than had been previously recognized, and that substrate recognition involves complex tertiary structure interactions and changes. We, and several other labs, have contributed to an understanding of the catalytic mechanism of the small nucleolytic ribozymes in which cation-assisted alterations in pKa values of active site nucleobases allow the RNA to perform general acid-base catalysis analogous to the way many protein enzymes catalyze reactions.
Click here for a link to our ribozyme-related publications.
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