PerspectiveMolecular Biology

Ribozymes in the Nucleolus

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Science  10 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5434, pp. 1685
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5434.1685

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Ribozymes are RNA molecules that behave like enzymes, cleaving other RNA transcripts into pieces. They have potential therapeutic value because they can be designed to chew up viral RNAs or to repair damaged mRNA transcripts. However, getting the ribozyme to the correct part of the cell where the target RNA resides is a challenge. In his Perspective, Rossi explains how small RNAs that inhabit the nucleolus can be engineered to transport and sequester ribozymes into this subcellular organelle. He goes on to discuss the many possible applications of these so-called snorbozymes.