A Mini-Twister Variant and Impact of Residues/Cations on the Phosphodiester Cleavage of this Ribozyme Class.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, Volume 54, Issue 50, p.15128-15133 (2015)


Adenine, Biocatalysis, Cadmium, Cations, Manganese, Models, Molecular, Organophosphates, RNA, Catalytic


<p>Nucleolytic ribozymes catalyze site-specific cleavage of their phosphodiester backbones. A minimal version of the twister ribozyme is reported that lacks the phylogenetically conserved stem P1 while retaining wild-type activity. Atomic mutagenesis revealed that nitrogen atoms N1 and N3 of the adenine-6 at the cleavage site are indispensable for cleavage. By NMR spectroscopy, a pKa value of 5.1 was determined for a (13) C2-labeled adenine at this position in the twister ribozyme, which is significantly shifted compared to the pKa of the same adenine in the substrate alone. This finding pinpoints at a potential role for adenine-6 in the catalytic mechanism besides the previously identified invariant guanine-48 and a Mg(2+) ion, both of which are directly coordinated to the non-bridging oxygen atoms of the scissile phosphate; for the latter, additional evidence stems from the observation that Mn(2+) or Cd(2+) accelerated cleavage of phosphorothioate substrates. The relevance of this metal ion binding site is further emphasized by a new 2.6 Å X-ray structure of a 2'-OCH3 -U5 modified twister ribozyme. </p>