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A 451-nucleotide circular RNA from cherry with hammerhead ribozymes in its strands of both polarities.

By F Di Serio, J A Daròs, A Ragozzino and R Flores


The sequence of 451 nucleotides of a cherry small circular RNA (csc RNA1) associated with a cherry disease has been determined. Both csc RNA1 and its complementary strand can form hammerhead structures similar to those found previously in other plant and animal small RNAs. In the branched secondary structure of lowest free energy of csc RNA1, the sequences involved in the hammerhead structures, which comprise approximately one-fourth of this RNA, are found opposite each other, forming part of a rod-like segment. Plus- and minus-strand full-length transcripts of csc RNA1 self-cleaved during transcription and after purification, as predicted by the hammerhead structures, which are stable and very probably act as single hammerhead structures. The minus-strand hammerhead structure of csc RNA1 is exceptional in having a central loop with only 11 conserved nucleotides, a situation previously observed in only one other natural hammerhead structure. Both hammerhead structures of csc RNA1 are also peculiar in having an A instead of a C preceding the self-cleavage sites. The in vivo concentration of the plus strand of csc RNA1 is only slightly higher than that of its complementary strand, and significant fractions of both strands are extracted from the tissue in the form of a complex. csc RNA1 has sequence similarities to viroids and especially to some viroid-like satellite RNAs; they also share some characteristics of their corresponding hammerhead structures with these satellite RNAs. These observations, together with the association in symptomatic tissue of csc RNA1 with a set of presumably viral double-stranded RNAs, suggest that csc RNA1 is a new viroid-like satellite RNA

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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