Long-range structure in ribonuclease P RNA

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Science  08 Nov 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5033, pp. 853-856
DOI: 10.1126/science.1719634


Phylogenetic-comparative and mutational analyses were used to elucidate the structure of the catalytically active RNA component of eubacterial ribonuclease P (RNase P). In addition to the refinement and extension of known structural elements, the analyses revealed a long-range interaction that results in a second pseudoknot in the RNA. This feature strongly constrains the three-dimensional structure of RNase P RNA near the active site. Some RNase P RNAs lack this structure but contain a unique, possibly compensating, structural domain. This suggests that different RNA structures located at different positions in the sequence may have equivalent architectural functions in RNase P RNA.