Identification and characterization of a short 2′-3′ bond-forming ribozyme

Duncan J. Smith, Maria M. Konarska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large number of natural and artificial ribozymes have been isolated since the demonstration of the catalytic potential of RNA, with the majority of these catalyzing phosphate hydrolysis or transesterification reactions. Here, we describe and characterize an extremely short ribozyme that catalyzes the positionally specific transesterification that produces a 2′-3′ phosphodiester bond between itself and a branch substrate provided in trans, cleaving itself internally in the process. Although this ribozyme was originally derived from constructs based on snRNAs, its minimal catalytic motif contains essentially no snRNA sequence and the reaction it catalyzes is not directly related to either step of pre-mRNA splicing. Our data have implications for the intrinsic reactivity of the large amount of RNA sequence space known to be transcribed in nature and for the validity and utility of the use of protein-free systems to study pre-mRNA splicing. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • RNA catalysis
  • Splicing
  • snRNAs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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