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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 widely believed to have been ancestors of spliceosomal introns, yet little is known about their own evolutionary history. In order to address the evolution of mobile group II introns, we have compiled 71 open reading frames (ORFs) related to group II intron reverse transcriptases and subjected their derived amino acid sequences to(More)
Group II introns are mobile ribozymes that self-splice from precursor RNAs to yield excised intron lariat RNAs, which then invade new genomic DNA sites by reverse splicing. The introns encode a reverse transcriptase that stabilizes the catalytically active RNA structure for forward and reverse splicing, and afterwards converts the integrated intron RNA back(More)
Group II introns are novel genetic elements that have properties of both catalytic RNAs and retroelements. Initially identified in organellar genomes of plants and lower eukaryotes, group II introns are now being discovered in increasing numbers in bacterial genomes. Few of the newly sequenced bacterial introns are correctly identified or annotated by those(More)
Group II introns aI1 and aI2 of the yeast mitochondrial COXI gene are mobile elements that encode an intron-specific reverse transcriptase (RT) activity. We show here that the introns of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ID41-6/161 insert site specifically into intronless alleles. The mobility is accompanied by efficient, but highly asymmetric, coconversion of(More)
The mobility (homing) of the yeast mitochondrial DNA group II intron al2 occurs via target DNA-primed reverse transcription at a double-strand break in the recipient DNA. Here, we show that the site-specific DNA endonuclease that makes the double-strand break is a ribonucleoprotein complex containing the al2-encoded reverse transcriptase protein and excised(More)
Some group II introns are mobile elements as well as catalytic RNAs. Introns aI1 and aI2 found in the gene COX1 in yeast mitochondria encode reverse transcriptases which promote site-specific insertion of the intron into intronless alleles ('homing'). For aI2 this predominantly occurs by reverse transcription of unspliced precursor RNA at a break in(More)
Mobile group II introns encode reverse transcriptases and insert site specifically into intronless alleles (homing). Here, in vitro experiments show that homing of the yeast mtDNA group II intron aI2 occurs by reverse transcription at a double-strand break in the recipient DNA. A site-specific endonuclease cleaves the antisense strand of recipient DNA at(More)
Mobile group II introns, found in bacterial and organellar genomes, are both catalytic RNAs and retrotransposable elements. They use an extraordinary mobility mechanism in which the excised intron RNA reverse splices directly into a DNA target site and is then reverse transcribed by the intron-encoded protein. After DNA insertion, the introns remove(More)
The trnK intron of plants encodes the matK open reading frame (ORF), which has been used extensively as a phylogenetic marker for classification of plants. Here we examined the evolution of the trnK intron itself as a model for group II intron evolution in plants. Representative trnK intron sequences were compiled from species spanning algae to angiosperms,(More)