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Catalytic RNAs are often regarded as molecular fossils from the RNA World, yet it is usually difficult to get more specific information about their evolution. Here we have investigated the coevolution of group II intron RNA structures with their intron-encoded reverse transcriptases (RTs). Unlike group I introns, there has been no obvious reshuffling(More)
Group II introns are self-splicing ribozymes that catalyze their own excision from precursor transcripts and insertion into new genetic locations. Here we report the crystal structure of an intact, self-spliced group II intron from Oceanobacillus iheyensis at 3.1 angstrom resolution. An extensive network of tertiary interactions facilitates the ordered(More)
Group II introns are self-splicing, mobile genetic elements that have fundamentally influenced the organization of terrestrial genomes. These large ribozymes remain important for gene expression in almost all forms of bacteria and eukaryotes and they are believed to share a common ancestry with the eukaryotic spliceosome that is required for processing all(More)
Group II introns are self-splicing RNAs and retroelements found in bacteria and lower eukaryotic organelles. During the past several years, they have been uncovered in surprising numbers in bacteria due to the genome sequencing projects; however, most of the newly sequenced introns are not correctly identified. We have initiated an ongoing web site database(More)
Free group II introns are infectious retroelements that can bind and insert themselves into RNA and DNA molecules via reverse splicing. Here we report the 3.4-A crystal structure of a complex between an oligonucleotide target substrate and a group IIC intron, as well as the refined free intron structure. The structure of the complex reveals the conformation(More)
Group I and group II introns are unrelated classes of introns that each encode proteins that facilitate intron splicing and intron mobility. Here we describe a new subfamily of nine introns in fungi that are group II introns but encode LAGLIDADG ORFs typical of group I introns. The introns have fairly standard group IIB1 RNA structures and are inserted into(More)
Group II introns are large ribozymes that act as self-splicing and retrotransposable RNA molecules. They are of great interest because of their potential evolutionary relationship to the eukaryotic spliceosome, their continued influence on the organization of many genomes in bacteria and eukaryotes, and their potential utility as tools for gene therapy and(More)
Bacterial IIC introns are a newly recognized subclass of group II introns whose ribozyme properties have not been characterized in detail. IIC introns are typically located downstream of transcriptional terminator motifs (inverted repeat followed by T's) or other inverted repeats in bacterial genomes. Here we have characterized the self-splicing activity of(More)
Tetraloops are a common building block for RNA tertiary structure, and most tetraloops fall into one of three well-characterized classes: GNRA, UNCG, and CUYG. Here, we present the sequence and structure of a fourth highly conserved class of tetraloop that occurs only within the zeta-zeta' interaction of group IIC introns. This GANC tetraloop was(More)
The formation of branched lariat RNA is an evolutionarily conserved feature of splicing reactions for both group II and spliceosomal introns. The lariat is important for the fidelity of 5' splice-site selection and consists of a 2'-5' phosphodiester bond between a bulged adenosine and the 5' end of the intron. To gain insight into this ubiquitous(More)