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      Merely two mutations switch a DNA-hydrolyzing deoxyribozyme from heterobimetallic (Zn2+/Mn2+) to monometallic (Zn2+-only) behavior

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          Most cited references 24

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          Directed evolution of nucleic acid enzymes.

           Walter Joyce (2003)
          Just as Darwinian evolution in nature has led to the development of many sophisticated enzymes, Darwinian evolution in vitro has proven to be a powerful approach for obtaining similar results in the laboratory. This review focuses on the development of nucleic acid enzymes starting from a population of random-sequence RNA or DNA molecules. In order to illustrate the principles and practice of in vitro evolution, two especially well-studied categories of catalytic nucleic acid are considered: RNA enzymes that catalyze the template-directed ligation of RNA and DNA enzymes that catalyze the cleavage of RNA. The former reaction, which involves attack of a 2'- or 3'-hydroxyl on the alpha-phosphate of a 5'-triphosphate, is more difficult. It requires a comparatively larger catalytic motif, containing more nucleotides than can be sampled exhaustively within a starting population of random-sequence RNAs. The latter reaction involves deprotonation of the 2'-hydroxyl adjacent to the cleavage site, resulting in cleaved products that bear a 2',3'-cyclic phosphate and 5'-hydroxyl. The difficulty of this reaction, and therefore the complexity of the corresponding DNA enzyme, depends on whether a catalytic cofactor, such as a divalent metal cation or small molecule, is present in the reaction mixture.
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            Binuclear Metallohydrolases.

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              The hammerhead, hairpin and VS ribozymes are catalytically proficient in monovalent cations alone.

              The catalytic activity of RNA enzymes is thought to require divalent metal ions, which are believed to facilitate RNA folding and to play a direct chemical role in the reaction. We have found that the hammerhead, hairpin and VS ribozymes do not require divalent metal ions, their mimics such as [Co(NH3)6]3+, or even monovalent metal ions for efficient self-cleavage. The HDV ribozyme, however, does appear to require divalent metal ions for self-cleavage. For the hammerhead, hairpin and VS ribozymes, very high concentrations of monovalent cations support RNA-cleavage rates similar to or exceeding those observed in standard concentrations of Mg2+. Analysis of all reaction components by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrophotometry (ICPOES) and the use of a variety of chelating agents effectively eliminate the possibility of contaminating divalent and trivalent metal ions in the reactions. For the hairpin ribozyme, fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments demonstrate that high concentrations of monovalent cations support folding into the catalytically proficient tertiary structure. These results directly demonstrate that metal ions are not obligatory chemical participants in the reactions catalysed by the hammerhead, hairpin, and VS ribozymes. They permit us to suggest that the folded structure of the RNA itself contributes more to the catalytic function than was previously recognised, and that the presence of a relatively dense positive charge, rather than divalent metal ions, is the general fundamental requirement. Whether this charge is required for catalysis per se or simply for RNA folding remains to be determined.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                CHCOFS
                Chem. Commun.
                Chem. Commun.
                Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
                1359-7345
                1364-548X
                2011
                2011
                : 47
                : 6
                : 1749-1751
                Article
                10.1039/C0CC04575F
                © 2011
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://xlink.rsc.org/?DOI=C0CC04575F

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