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Replacement of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RPR1 gene with heterologous RNase P RNA genes.

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  • Biology


Phylogenetic studies of yeast nuclear RNase P RNA genes have shown a striking conservation of secondary structure for the Saccharomyces and Schizosaccharomyces RNase P RNAs, yet much of the primary sequence and many substructures vary among the RNAs examined. To investigate which sequences and structural features can be varied and still allow function in a heterologous organism, RNase P genes from several yeast species were tested for the ability to substitute for the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNA. The RNase P genes from Saccharomyces carlsbergensis and Saccharomyces kluyveri could act as the sole source of RNase P RNA within S. cerevisiae cells, whereas the genes from Saccharomyces globosus and Schizosaccharomyces pombe could not. Although heterologous RNase P RNAs were synthesized by the cells in all cases, the RNAs that complemented tended to be processed from longer precursor transcripts into mature-sized RNase P RNA, while the RNAs that did not complement tended to accumulate as the longer precursor form. The results identified sequences and structures in the RNA that are not essential for interaction with species-specific proteins, processing or localization, and suggested other positions that may be candidates for such processes.

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