Zhaleh N. Amini

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Group I introns are pre-mRNA introns that do not require the spliceosome for their removal. Instead, they fold into complex three-dimensional structures and catalyze two transesterification reactions, thereby excising themselves and joining the flanking exons. These catalytic RNAs (ribozymes) have been modified previously to work in trans, whereby the(More)
Understanding the evolution of functional RNA molecules is important for our molecular understanding of biology. Here we tested experimentally how two evolutionary parameters, selection pressure and recombination, influenced the evolution of an evolving RNA population. This was done using four parallel evolution experiments that employed low or gradually(More)
The group I intron ribozyme from Tetrahymena was recently reengineered into a trans-splicing variant that is able to remove 100-nt introns from pre-mRNA, analogous to the spliceosome. These spliceozymes were improved in this study by 10 rounds of evolution in Escherichia coli cells. One clone with increased activity in E. coli cells was analyzed in detail.(More)
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