The RNA component of the Bacillus subtilis RNase P. Sequence, activity, and partial secondary structure

C. Reich, K. J. Gardiner, Gary J Olsen, B. Pace, T. L. Marsh, N. R. Pace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The gene defining the catalytic RNA component of RNase P in Bacillus subtilis 168 was cloned into bacteriophage λ and plasmid vectors. The nucleotide sequence of the gene and its surroundings was determined from the cloned DNA and by directly sequencing or reverse transcribing the RNase P RNA. The B. subtilis RNase P RNA sequence (400-401 nucleotides) is remarkably different from that of Escherichia coli (377 nucleotides) (Reed, R.E., Baer, M.F., Guerrier-Takada, C., Donis-Keller, H., and Altman, S. (1982) Cell 30, 627-636; Sakamoto, H., Kimura, N., Nagawa, F., and Shimura, Y. (1983) Nucleic Acids Res. 11, 8237-8251). At best the two are less than 50% similar in sequence. To verify that the RNase P RNA gene was analyzed, a modified, putative gene was cloned adjacent to a bacteriophage T7 promoter and various transcripts were tested for RNase P activity. The intact gene transcript, but not fragments, showed full activity. Full catalytic activity was restored upon mixing the fragments. The extensive differences between the B. subtilis and E. coli RNase P RNAs precluded full covariance analysis of secondary structure, but phylogenetically consistent foldings for portions of both molecules could be derived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7888-7893
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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