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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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 - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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