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A common RNA loop motif as a docking module and its function in the hammerhead ribozyme

Nature Structural Biologyvolume 1pages820827 (1994) | Download Citation



Here I present a three-dimensional model of a novel element of RNA tertiary structure. A common loop motif composed of adjacent, sheared G·A and A·N non-canonical base pairs is proposed to form long-range tertiary interactions with other RNA residues. The widespread distribution of this G·A/A·N docking module suggests that the putative long-range docking interaction plays an important role in specifying the tertiary structure of large RNAs, and perhaps the quaternary structure of some intermolecular RNA–RNA interactions. Application of this docking module hypothesis to the hammerhead ribozyme provides crucial constraints for the calculation of three-dimensional models of its self-cleaving conformation.

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  1. Department of Molecular Biology, MB2 The Scripps Research Institute, 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA, 92037, USA

    • Brian Wimberly


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