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Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is an endoribonuclease that catalyzes the processing of the 5'-leader sequence of precursor tRNA (pre-tRNA) in all phylogenetic domains. We have found that RNase P in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3 consists of RNase P RNA (PhopRNA) and five protein cofactors designated PhoPop5, PhoRpp21, PhoRpp29, PhoRpp30, and PhoRpp38. Biochemical characterizations over the past 10 years have revealed that PhoPop5 and PhoRpp30 fold into a heterotetramer and cooperate to activate a catalytic domain (C-domain) in PhopRNA, whereas PhoRpp21 and PhoRpp29 form a heterodimer and function together to activate a specificity domain (S-domain) in PhopRNA. PhoRpp38 plays a role in elevation of the optimum temperature of RNase P activity, binding to kink-turn (K-turn) motifs in two stem-loops in PhopRNA. This review describes the structural and functional information on P. horikoshii RNase P, focusing on the structural basis for the PhopRNA activation by the five RNase P proteins.


Makoto Kimura. Structural basis for activation of an archaeal ribonuclease P RNA by protein cofactors. Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry. 2017 Sep;81(9):1670-1680

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PMID: 28715256

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