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Identification of an hepatitis delta virus-like ribozyme at the mRNA 5′-end of the L1Tc retrotransposon from Trypanosoma cruzi

AuthorsSánchez-Luque, Francisco J.; López López, Manuel Carlos; Macías, Francisco; Alonso, Carlos ; Thomas, María del Carmen
KeywordsTrypanosoma cruzi
Issue Date30-Jun-2011
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationNucleic Acids Research 39 (18): 8065-8077 (2011)
AbstractL1Tc is a non-LTR LINE element from Trypanosoma cruzi that encodes its transposition machinery and bears an internal promoter. Herewith, we report the identification of an in vitro active hepatitis delta virus-like ribozyme located in the first 77 nt at the 5′-end of the L1Tc mRNA (L1TcRz). The data presented show that L1TcRz has a co-transcriptional function. Using gel-purified uncleaved RNA transcripts, the data presented indicate that the kinetics of the self-cleaving, in a magnesium-dependent reaction, fits to a two-phase decay curve. The cleavage point identified by primer extension takes place at +1 position of the element. The hydroxyl nature of the 5′-end of the 3′-fragment generated by the cleavage activity of L1TcRz was confirmed. Since we have previously described that the 77-nt long fragment located at the 5′-end of L1Tc has promoter activity, the existence of a ribozyme in L1Tc makes this element to be the first described non-LTR retroelement that has an internal promoter–ribozyme dual function. The L1Tc nucleotides located downstream of the ribozyme catalytic motif appear to inhibit its activity. This inhibition may be influenced by the existence of a specific L1Tc RNA conformation that is recognized by RNase P.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkr478
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