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.
- Antisense oligonucleotide (AON)
- Candida albicans
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology