Slow formation of a pseudoknot structure is rate limiting in the productive co-transcriptional folding of the self-splicing Candida intron

Zhang Libin, Bao Penghui, Michael J Leibowitz, Zhang Yi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pseudoknots play critical roles in packing the active structure of various functional RNAs. The importance of the P3-P7 pseudoknot in refolding of group I intron ribozymes has been recently appreciated, while little is known about the pseudoknot function in co-transcriptional folding. Here we used the Candida group I intron as a model to address the question. We show that co-transcriptional folding of the active self-splicing intron is twice as fast as refolding. The P3-P7 pseudoknot folds slowly during co-transcriptional folding at a rate constant similar to the folding of the active ribozyme, and folding of both P3-P7 and P1-P10 pseudoknots are inhibited by antisense oligonucleotides. We conclude that when RNA folding is coupled with transcription, formation of pseudoknot structures dominates the productive folding pathway and serves as a rate-limiting step in producing the self-splicing competent Candida intron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1986-1992
Number of pages7
JournalRNA
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Antisense oligonucleotide (AON)
  • Candida albicans
  • Pseudoknot
  • Ribozyme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology

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