Nuclear group I introns in self-splicing and beyond
Group I introns are a distinct class of RNA self-splicing introns with an ancient origin. All known group I introns present in eukaryote nuclei interrupt functional ribosomal RNA genes located in ribosomal DNA loci. The discovery of the Tetrahymena intron more than 30 years ago has been essential to our understanding of group I intron catalysis, higher-order RNA structure, and RNA folding, but other intron models have provided information about the biological role. Nuclear group I introns appear widespread among eukaryotic microorganisms, and the plasmodial slime molds (myxomycetes) contain an abundance of self-splicing introns. Here, we summarize the main conclusions from previous work on the Tetrahymena intron on RNA self-splicing catalysis as well as more recent work on myxomycete intron biology. Group I introns in myxomycetes that represent different evolutionary stages, biological roles, and functional settings are discussed.
CitationMobile DNA 4:17(2013)
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