Pascale Legault

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The structure of the complex formed by the arginine-rich motif of the transcriptional antitermination protein N of phage lambda and boxB RNA was determined by heteronuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. A bent alpha helix in N recognizes primarily the shape and negatively charged surface of the boxB hairpin through multiple hydrophobic and ionic(More)
The adenine and guanine riboswitches regulate gene expression in response to their purine ligand. X-ray structures of the aptamer moiety of these riboswitches are characterized by a compact fold in which the ligand forms a Watson-Crick base pair with residue 65. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a strict restriction at position 39 of the aptamer that prevents(More)
The pluripotency factor Lin28 is a highly conserved protein comprising a unique combination of RNA-binding motifs, an N-terminal cold-shock domain and a C-terminal region containing two retroviral-type CCHC zinc-binding domains. An important function of Lin28 is to inhibit the biogenesis of the let-7 family of microRNAs through a direct interaction with(More)
Lin28 inhibits the biogenesis of let-7 miRNAs through direct interactions with let-7 precursors. Previous studies have described seemingly inconsistent Lin28 binding sites on pre-let-7 RNAs. Here, we reconcile these data by examining the binding mechanism of Lin28 to the terminal loop of pre-let-7g (TL-let-7g) using biochemical and biophysical methods.(More)
The Neurospora VS ribozyme is a small nucleolytic ribozyme with unique primary, secondary and global tertiary structures, which displays mechanistic similarities to the hairpin ribozyme. Here, we determined the high-resolution NMR structure of a stem-loop VI fragment containing the A730 internal loop, which forms part of the active site. In the presence of(More)
Although RNA-based biological processes and therapeutics have gained increasing interest, purification of in vitro transcribed RNA generally relies on gel-based methods that are time-consuming, tedious and denature the RNA. Here, we present a reliable procedure for affinity batch purification of RNA, which exploits the high-affinity interaction between the(More)
Compensatory mutations in RNA are generally regarded as those that maintain base pairing, and their identification forms the basis of phylogenetic predictions of RNA secondary structure. However, other types of compensatory mutations can provide higher-order structural and evolutionary information. Here, we present a helix-length compensation study for(More)
Self-splicing group I introns use guanosine as a nucleophile to cleave the 5' splice site. The guanosine-binding site has been localized to the G264-C311 base pair of the Tetrahymena intron on the basis of analysis of mutations that change the specificity of the nucleophile from G (guanosine) to 2AP (2-aminopurine ribonucleoside) (F. Michel et al. (1989)(More)
Metal cations represent key elements of RNA structure and function. In the Neurospora VS ribozyme, metal cations play diverse roles; they are important for substrate recognition, formation of the active site, and shifting the pKa's of two key nucleobases that contribute to the general acid-base mechanism. Recently, we determined the NMR structure of the(More)
The general transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) plays crucial roles in transcription as part of the pre-initiation complex (PIC) and in DNA repair as part of the nucleotide excision repair (NER) machinery. During NER, TFIIH recruits the 3'-endonuclease Rad2 to damaged DNA. In this manuscript, we functionally and structurally characterized the interaction(More)