Brevia

Reconstituting Bacterial RNA Repair and Modification in Vitro

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Science  09 Oct 2009:
Vol. 326, Issue 5950, pp. 247
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179480

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Abstract

Ribotoxins kill cells by endonucleotically cleaving essential RNAs involved in protein translation. We report here that a stable heterotetramer composed of two bacterial proteins, Pnkp and Hen1, was able to repair transfer RNAs cleaved by ribotoxins in vitro. Before the broken RNAs were ligated by the heterotetramer, a methyl group was added to the 2′-OH group that participated in the original RNA cut. Because of the methylation, RNAs repaired by bacterial Pnkp/Hen1 heterotetramer could not be cleaved again by the ribotoxins. Thus, unlike eukaryotic Hen1 involved in RNA interference, the bacterial Hen1 is part of an RNA repair and modification system.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

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