James W. Brown

Associate Professor & Undergraduate Coordinator
Department of Microbiology, NC State University

The Catalytic Activity of Archaeal RNase P RNA

Dept. of Microbiology, North Carolina State University

RNase P, an endoribonuclease that contains both an RNA and a protein subunit, is the enzyme responsible for the maturation of the 5’ end of pre-tRNA molecules. Bacterial RNase P RNA is catalytically active in vitro without its protein subunit, but that characteristic has yet to be demonstrated in similar tests by an RNase P RNA from the Archaea. Comparisons of RNase P RNAs from the bacterial and archaeal evolutionary domains show a high degree of structural similarity, but the differences that are present may be responsible for altering in vitro catalytic ability. The following research examines the catalytic potential of archaeal RNase P RNA by expanding reaction conditions beyond those previously tested. Establishing assay conditions that promote in vitro catalytic activity for archaeal RNAse P RNAs will further the understanding of the relationship between structure and function in catalytic RNAs and resolve why archaeal RNase P RNAs are thought to be inactive in vitro.

1997 NC ASM meeting, Raleigh, NC

nullLast updated June 15, 2009 by James W Brown