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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Sies, Helmut / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

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1437-4315
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Volume 393, Issue 11

Issues

Intronic hammerhead ribozymes in mRNA biogenesis

Inmaculada García-Robles
  • Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jesús Sánchez-Navarro
  • Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Marcos de la Peña
  • Corresponding author
  • Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2012-10-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2012-0223

Abstract

Small self-cleaving ribozymes are a group of natural RNAs that are capable of catalyzing their own and sequence-specific endonucleolytic cleavage. One of the most studied members is the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR), a catalytic RNA originally discovered in subviral plant pathogens but recently shown to reside in a myriad of genomes along the tree of life. In eukaryotes, most of the genomic HHRs seem to be related to short interspersed retroelements, with the main exception of a group of strikingly conserved ribozymes found in the genomes of all amniotes (reptiles, birds and mammals). These amniota HHRs occur in the introns of a few specific genes, and clearly point to a preserved biological role during pre-mRNA biosynthesis. More specifically, bioinformatic analysis suggests that these intronic ribozymes could offer a new form of splicing regulation of the mRNA of higher vertebrates. We review here the latest advances in the discovery and biological characterization of intronic HHRs of vertebrates, including new conserved examples in the genomes of the primitive turtle and coelacanth fish.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: alternative splicing; amniotes; retrotransposon; RNA self-cleavage

About the article

Inmaculada García-Robles

Dr. Inmaculada García-Robles studied Biochemistry at the University of Valencia, Spain. She did her PhD (1999) on pest bioinsecticides at the Genetics Department and afterwards, two postdoctoral stages at the Cavanilles Institute (Valencia) and EMBL (Grenoble outstation) working on human virology. In 2005, she returned to the University of Valencia as Adjunct Professor in the Genetics Department, where she is also working in the study of the mode of action of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins.

Jesús Sánchez-Navarro

Dr. Jesús A. Sánchez Navarro graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Valencia, Spain (1991). After obtaining his PhD in Biological Sciences (1998) at the Genetics Department of the Murcia University, he did a postdoctoral stage at the Gorlaeus laboratories (Leiden University, The Netherlands) focused on the transport of plant RNA viruses. In 2001, he got a research scientist position at the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Institute of the Politechnical University of Valencia-CSIC. His main research interest is the field of plant viruses focused on the transport and the development of new viral vectors and detection methods.

Marcos de la Peña

Dr. Marcos de la Peña graduated in Chemical Sciences (1996) at the University of Valencia, Spain, before gaining his PhD in Biological Sciences (2001) working in the field of RNA plant pathogens. After a postdoctoral stage at the EMBL Grenoble outstation focused on macromolecular crystallography, he returned to Valencia as a research scientist at the Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Institute of the Politechnical University of Valencia-CSIC. His main research interest is the field of catalytic and other non-coding RNAs studied through biochemical, structural and evolutionary approaches.


Corresponding author: Marcos de la Peña, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (UPV-CSIC), Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, E-46022 Valencia, Spain


Received: 2012-06-05

Accepted: 2012-07-26

Published Online: 2012-10-11

Published in Print: 2012-11-01


Citation Information: , Volume 393, Issue 11, Pages 1317–1326, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2012-0223.

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©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. This content is open access.

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