A U3-Like Small Nucleolar RNA in Archaea: Retraction

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Science  29 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5330, pp. 1185-1189
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5330.1185d

In a report from this laboratory (19 May 1995, p. 1056) (1), a complementary DNA (cDNA) clone of an RNA with U3-like properties from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius was described. In subsequent experiments, we were unable to identify the encoding sequence of the RNA within the genome of this organism. The cDNA appears to have originated from theTaq DNA polymerase used in the cDNA polymerase chain reaction. With appropriate primers, the internal portion of the sequence can be amplified with the use of Taq DNA polymerase without added template DNA; amplification with Vent DNA polymerase requires added template. The encoding sequence was not found in the genome of Thermus aquaticus, and its organismal origin remains unknown.

It was initially observed that the ability of the processing fraction to cleave the 5′ external transcribed spacer of ribosomal precursor RNA (pre rRNA) was reproducibly sensitive to micrococcal nuclease. This was interpreted in the report (1) to mean that the processing fraction contained an essential RNA component. With further purification and using the same assay, we now observe that the more pure fraction is not sensitive to micrococcal nuclease digestion, whereas the less pure fraction is sensitive. At present, we do not understand the full significance of this observation, but it suggests that an RNA may not be required for these endonucleolytic cleavages. Finally, the use of an in vitro assay to study both precursor and 5′-end maturation cleavages in a pre-16S rRNA substrate was reported (1). Recent work has shown that, under the conditions used (1), precursor cleavages occur efficiently, whereas only a small amount of 5′-end maturation cleavage occurs. We therefore retract and correct these aspects of the report (1).


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