Group I intron self-splicing with adenosine: evidence for a single nucleoside-binding site

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Science  19 Apr 1991:
Vol. 252, Issue 5004, pp. 434-437
DOI: 10.1126/science.2017681


For self-splicing of Tetrahymena ribosomal RNA precursor, guanosine binding is required for 5' splice-site cleavage and exon ligation. Whether these two reactions use the same or different guanosine-binding sites has been debated. A double mutation in a previously identified guanosine-binding site within the intron resulted in preference for adenosine (or adenosine triphosphate) as the substrate for cleavage at the 5' splice site. However, splicing was blocked in the exon ligation step. Blockage was reversed by a change from guanine to adenine at the 3' splice site. These results indicate that a single determinant specifies nucleoside binding for both steps of splicing. Furthermore, it suggests that RNA could form an active site specific for adenosine triphosphate.

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