How many catalytic RNAs? Ions and the Cheshire cat conjecture

@article{Yarus1993HowMC,
  title={How many catalytic RNAs? Ions and the Cheshire cat conjecture},
  author={Michael Yarus},
  journal={The FASEB Journal},
  year={1993},
  volume={7},
  pages={31 - 39}
}
  • M. Yarus
  • Published 1 January 1993
  • Chemistry, Biology
  • The FASEB Journal
Three well‐characterized RNA catalysts not only require Mg2+ for activity, but also bind a metal ion (or ions) within the active site, apparently in a catalytic rather than solely structural role. I suggest, in view of the general catalytic utility of bound ions, that catalytic RNAs be viewed as Cheshire cats, by dimming their complex three‐dimensional ribonucleotide structure to leave only the sharp mineral parts in view. That is, catalytic RNAs may be viewed as metalloenzymes, with the… 

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