Before the discovery of catalytic RNA, tRNA molecules were the most studied RNA molecules for understanding RNA folding. Afterwards, group I introns, because of their stability and the fact that structural folding could be monitored by following their catalytic activity, became the molecule of choice for studying RNA architecture and folding. A major advantage of group I introns for studying the catalytic activity of RNA molecules is that catalytic activity is triggered by the addition of external guanosine co-factors. The self-splicing activity can therefore be precisely controlled. Using group I introns, several RNA motifs central to RNA-RNA self-assembly and folding were discovered. The analysis of the recent X-ray structures of the rRNA subunits indicates that several motifs present in the ribosome occur also in various group I introns.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.