Nancy Maizels

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We propose a phylogeny for the evolution of tRNA that is based on the ubiquity and conservation of tRNA-like structures in the replication of contemporary genomes. This phylogeny is unique in suggesting that the function of tRNA in replication dates back to the very beginnings of life on earth, before the advent of templated protein synthesis. The origin we(More)
BLM, the gene that is defective in Bloom's syndrome, encodes a protein homologous to RecQ subfamily helicases that functions as a 3'-5' DNA helicase in vitro. We now report that the BLM helicase can unwind G4 DNA. The BLM G4 DNA unwinding activity is ATP-dependent and requires a short 3' region of single-stranded DNA. Strikingly, G4 DNA is a preferred(More)
AU-rich elements (AREs) located in the 3' untranslated region target the mRNAs encoding many protooncoproteins, cytokines, and lymphokines for rapid degradation. HuR, a ubiquitously expressed member of the embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV) family of RNA-binding proteins, binds ARE sequences and selectively stabilizes ARE-containing reporter mRNAs when(More)
We describe the purification, cloning, and characterization of the CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyl transferase] from the thermophilic archaebacterium, Sulfolobus shibatae. Characterization of an archaeal CCA-adding enzyme provides formal proof that the CCA-adding activity is present in all three contemporary kingdoms. Antibodies raised against(More)
The CCA-adding enzyme repairs the 3'-terminal CCA sequence of all tRNAs. To determine how the enzyme recognizes tRNA, we probed critical contacts between tRNA substrates and the archaeal Sulfolobus shibatae class I and the eubacterial Escherichia coli class II CCA-adding enzymes. Both CTP addition to tRNA-C and ATP addition to tRNA-CC were dramatically(More)
The CCA-adding enzyme [ATP(CTP):tRNA nucleotidyltransferase] catalyzes the addition and regeneration of the 3'-terminal CCA sequence of tRNAs. We show that the CCA-adding enzyme will specifically add a CCA terminus to synthetic full-length tDNA and to DNA oligonucleotides corresponding to the "top half" of tRNA-the acceptor stem and TpsiC stem-loop of tRNA.(More)
Recent advances have made a persuasive case for the existence of G4 DNA in living cells, but what--if any--are its functions? Experiments have established how G4 DNA may contribute to the biology of eukaryotic cells, and genomic analysis has identified new ways in which the potential to form G4 DNA may influence gene regulation and genomic stability. This(More)
Single-stranded RNA viruses often have 3'-terminal tRNA-like structures that serve as substrates for the enzymes of tRNA metabolism, including the tRNA synthases and the CCA-adding enzyme. We propose that such 3'-terminal tRNA-like structures are in fact molecular fossils of the original RNA world, where they tagged genomic RNA molecules for replication and(More)
Three processes alter genomic sequence and structure at the immunoglobulin genes of B lymphocytes: gene conversion, somatic hypermutation, and class switch recombination. Though the molecular signatures of these processes differ, they occur by a shared pathway which is induced by targeted DNA deamination by a B cell-specific factor, activation induced(More)
G-rich genomic regions can form G4 DNA upon transcription or replication. We have quantified the potential for G4 DNA formation (G4P) of the 16 654 genes in the human RefSeq database, and then correlated gene function with G4P. We have found that very low and very high G4P correlates with specific functional classes of genes. Notably, tumor suppressor genes(More)