Self-cleaving hammerhead, hairpin, hepatitis delta virus, and ribozymes comprise a family of small catalytic RNA motifs that catalyze the same reversible phosphodiester cleavage reaction, but each motif adopts a unique structure and displays a unique array of biochemical properties. Recent structural, biochemical, and biophysical studies of these self-cleaving RNAs have begun to reveal how active site nucleotides exploit general acid-base catalysis, electrostatic stabilization, substrate destabilization, and positioning and orientation to reduce the free energy barrier to catalysis. Insights into the variety of catalytic strategies available to these model RNA enzymes are likely to have important implications for understanding more complex RNA-catalyzed reactions fundamental to RNA processing and protein synthesis.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error