Permuted tRNA Genes Expressed via a Circular RNA Intermediate in Cyanidioschyzon merolae

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Science  19 Oct 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5849, pp. 450-453
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145718

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A computational analysis of the nuclear genome of a red alga, Cyanidioschyzon merolae, identified 11 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes in which the 3′ half of the tRNA lies upstream of the 5′ half in the genome. We verified that these genes are expressed and produce mature tRNAs that are aminoacylated. Analysis of tRNA-processing intermediates for these genes indicates an unusual processing pathway in which the termini of the tRNA precursor are ligated, resulting in formation of a characteristic circular RNA intermediate that is then processed at the acceptor stem to generate the correct termini.

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