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Group I self-splicing introns catalyze their own excision from precursor RNAs by way of a two-step transesterification reaction. The catalytic core of these ribozymes is formed by two structural domains. The 2.8-angstrom crystal structure of one of these, the P4-P6 domain of the Tetrahymena thermophila intron, is described. In the 160-nucleotide domain, a(More)
Telomere proteins from ciliated protozoa bind to the single-stranded G-rich DNA extensions at the ends of macronuclear chromosomes. We have now identified homologous proteins in fission yeast and in humans. These Pot1 (protection of telomeres) proteins each bind the G-rich strand of their own telomeric repeat sequence, consistent with a direct role in(More)
Telomeres were originally defined as chromosome caps that prevent the natural ends of linear chromosomes from undergoing deleterious degradation and fusion events. POT1 (protection of telomeres) protein binds the single-stranded G-rich DNA overhangs at human chromosome ends and suppresses unwanted DNA repair activities. TPP1 is a previously identified(More)
Telomeres, the specialized nucleoprotein structures that comprise the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes, are essential for complete replication, and regulation of their length has been a focus of research on tumorigenesis. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the protein Rap1p binds to telomeric DNA and functions in the regulation of telomere length.(More)
A ribozyme derived from the intervening sequence (IVS) of the Tetrahymena preribosomal RNA catalyzes a site-specific endonuclease reaction: G2CCCUCUA5 + G in equilibrium with G2CCCUCU + GA5 (G = guanosine). This reaction is analogous to the first step in self-splicing of the pre-rRNA, with the product G2CCCUCU analogous to the 5'-exon. The following(More)
Group I introns possess a single active site that catalyzes the two sequential reactions of self-splicing. An RNA comprising the two domains of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I intron catalytic core retains activity, and the 5.0 angstrom crystal structure of this 247-nucleotide ribozyme is now described. Close packing of the two domains forms a shallow(More)
The crystal structure of a group I intron domain reveals an unexpected motif that mediates both intra- and intermolecular interactions. At three separate locations in the 160-nucleotide domain, adjacent adenosines in the sequence lie side-by-side and form a pseudo-base pair within a helix. This adenosine platform opens the minor groove for base stacking or(More)
The Tetrahymena intron is an RNA catalyst, or ribozyme. As part of its self-splicing reaction, this ribozyme catalyzes phosphoryl transfer between guanosine and a substrate RNA strand. Here we report the refined crystal structure of an active Tetrahymena ribozyme in the absence of its RNA substrate at 3.8 A resolution. The 3'-terminal guanosine (omegaG),(More)
Tertiary interactions that allow RNA to fold into intricate three-dimensional structures are being identified, but little is known about the thermodynamics of individual interactions. Here we quantify the tertiary structure contributions of individual hydrogen bonds in a "ribose zipper" motif of the recently crystallized Tetrahymena group I intron P4-P6(More)
The protein catalytic subunit of telomerase (TERT) is a reverse transcriptase (RT) that utilizes an internal RNA molecule as a template for the extension of chromosomal DNA ends. In all retroviral RTs there is a conserved tyrosine two amino acids preceding the catalytic aspartic acids in motif C, a motif that is critical for catalysis. In TERTs, however,(More)