The Ribosome Is a Ribozyme

  title={The Ribosome Is a Ribozyme},
  author={Thomas R. Cech},
  pages={878 - 879}
  • T. Cech
  • Published 11 August 2000
  • Biology
  • Science
Ribosomes, the cellular factories that manufacture proteins, contain both RNA and protein, but exactly how all of the different ribosomal components contribute to protein synthesis is still not clear. Now, as Thomas Cech explains in his Perspective, atomic resolution of the structure of the large ribosomal subunit reveals that, as predicted by those convinced of a prebiotic RNA world, RNA is the catalytic component with proteins being the structural units that support and stabilize it (Ban et… 
Piece by piece: Building a ribozyme
The idea that these two large ribozymes may have begun their evolutionary odyssey as an assemblage of RNA “fragments” smaller than the contemporary full-length versions and that they transitioned through distinct stages along a pathway that may also be relevant for the evolution of other non-coding RNAs is explored.
Evolution and assembly of the ribosome
The complex history presented for “core” protein S4 suggests the existence of a gene pool before the emergence of bacterial lineages and reflects the pervasive nature of HGT in subsequent bacterial evolution, and is proven to be stable throughout the micro-second molecular dynamics simulations.
5.5 Å Structure of the Eukaryotic Ribosome
Cryo-electron microscopy and single-particle reconstruction provide insights into the structure, function and evolution of the eukaryotic translational apparatus with near-complete atomic models of the 80S ribosome.
Ribosomal Proteins in the Spotlight
Although rRNA has a major role in certain aspects of ribosomal function, such as decoding and peptidyl-transferase activity, ribosomic proteins are nevertheless essential for the assembly and optimal functioning of the ribosome.
Purification of Ribosomes from Human Cell Lines
The protocol described here is simple, efficient, and robust, and allows one to purify high‐quality ribosomes from human cultured cell lines, and is adequate for most of the subsequent analyses of their RNA and protein content.
The structure and function of catalytic RNAs
The structure-function relationship of both small and large ribozymes is reviewed, especially the structural basis of their catalysis.
The ribosome: lifting the veil from a fascinating organelle.
  • W. Tate, E. Poole
  • Biology, Chemistry
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2004
Cryoelectron microscopy and associated image reconstruction technology have given dramatic snapshots of almost every step of protein synthesis, and X-ray crystallography has revealed, at last, the subunits and monomeric ribosome in exquisite atomic detail.
RNase P: at last, the key finds its lock.
Some important aspects of that crystal structure of the bacterial RNase P in complex with a tRNA, reported by Reiter and colleagues recently, constitute the first example of a multiple turnover RNA enzyme.
The RNA dreamtime
  • C. Kurland
  • Biology, Chemistry
    BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology
  • 2010
In this open system scenario the stable domains that accumulate and the chemical environment in which they are accumulated are linked through self coding of polypeptide structure and may have been the precursors to the cellular ribonucleoprotein (RNP) world that evolved subsequently.
Therapeutic Applications of Ribozymes
It is rather clear that the RNA component of the larger ribosomal subunit is functioning as a peptidyltransferase as well, and it is highly likely that additional RNA catalytic motifs and new roles for RNA-mediated catalysis will also be found as the authors learn more about the genomes of a variety of organisms.


Structure of a bacterial 30S ribosomal subunit at 5.5 Å resolution
A crystallographic analysis of the structure of the 30S ribosomal subunit from the bacterium Thermus thermophilus shows double-helical regions of RNA to be identified throughout the subunit, and all seven of the small-subunit proteins of known crystal structure to be positioned in the electron density map.
The structural basis of ribosome activity in peptide bond synthesis.
It is established that the ribosome is a ribozyme and the catalytic properties of its all-RNA active site are addressed and the mechanism of peptide bond synthesis appears to resemble the reverse of the acylation step in serine proteases.
The complete atomic structure of the large ribosomal subunit at 2.4 A resolution.
The crystal structure of the large ribosomal subunit from Haloarcula marismortui is determined at 2.4 angstrom resolution, and it includes 2833 of the subunit's 3045 nucleotides and 27 of its 31 proteins.
X-ray crystal structures of 70S ribosome functional complexes.
Structures of 70S ribosome complexes containing messenger RNA and transfer RNA (tRNA), or tRNA analogs, have been solved by x-ray crystallography at up to 7.8 angstrom resolution. Many details of the
Placement of protein and RNA structures into a 5 Å-resolution map of the 50S ribosomal subunit
An electron-density map of the large 50S ribosomal subunit from the bacterium Haloarcula marismortui is calculated at 5.0 Å resolution by using phases derived from four heavy-atom derivatives, intercrystal density averaging and density-modification procedures.
Crystal structure of a hepatitis delta virus ribozyme
The self-cleaving ribozyme of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is the only catalytic RNA known to be required for the viability of a human pathogen. We obtained crystals of a 72-nucleotide,
A single adenosine with a neutral pKa in the ribosomal peptidyl transferase center.
In vivo mutational analysis of this nucleotide indicates that it has an essential role in ribosomal function, and results are consistent with a mechanism wherein the nucleotide base of A2451 serves as a general acid base during peptide bond formation.
Imidazole rescue of a cytosine mutation in a self-cleaving ribozyme.
Results suggest that, in the wild-type ribozyme, C76 acts as a general base, which has implications for potential catalytic functions of conserved cytosines and adenines in other ribozymes and in ribonuclear proteins with enzymatic activity.
Secondary structure model for 23S ribosomal RNA.
A secondary structure model for 23S ribosomal RNA has been constructed on the basis of comparative sequence data, including the complete sequences from E. coli. Bacillus stearothermophilis, human and