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Reference: Cavaille J and Bachellerie JP (1998) SnoRNA-guided ribose methylation of rRNA: structural features of the guide RNA duplex influencing the extent of the reaction. Nucleic Acids Res 26(7):1576-87

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Abstract

Eukaryotic rRNAs contain a large number of ribose-methylated nucleotides of elusive function which are confined to the universally conserved rRNA domains. Ribose methylation of these nucleotides is directed by a large family of small trans -acting guide RNAs, called box C/D antisense snoRNAs. Each snoRNA targets precisely one of the nucleotides to be methylated within the pre-rRNA sequence, through transient formation of a 10-21 bp regular RNA duplex around the modification site. In this study we have analyzed how different features of the double-stranded RNA guide structure affect the extent of site-specific ribose methylation, by co-expressing an appropriate RNA substrate and its cognate tailored snoRNA guide in transfected mouse cells. We show that an increased GC content of the duplex can make up for the inhibitory effects of a helix truncation or for the presence of helix irregularities such as a mismatched pair or a bulge nucleotide. However, some helix irregularities dramatically inhibit the reaction and are not offset by further stabilization of the duplex. Overall, the RNA duplex tolerates a much larger degree of irregularity than anticipated, even in the immediate vicinity of the methylation site, which offers new prospects in the search for additional snoRNA guides. Accordingly, a few snoRNA-like sequences of uncertain status detected in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome now appear as likely bona fide ribose methylation guides.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Authors
Cavaille J, Bachellerie JP
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