Equilibria in Ribosomal RNA Secondary Structure
Secondary structure models have been elaborated for each of the RNA constituents of the ribosome. Documentation on models for the larger ribo-somal RNAs, i.e. small subunit RNA (including eukaryotic 18 S rRNA, bacterial 16 S rRNA and their mitochondrial equivalents) and large subunit rRNA (eukaryotic 28 S rRNA, bacterial 23 S rRNA and mitochondrial equivalents) can be found in a review by Noller (1984). Some references to models for the small rRNAs i.e. 5 S rRNA, eukaryotic 5.8 S rRNA and chloroplast 4.5 S rRNA, can be found in a sequence compilation by Erdmann et al. (1985). These secondary structure models are constructed primarily by a comparative approach, i.e. by alignment of the available RNA primary structures in different species, and selection of a base pairing scheme applicable to all these sequences. Further evidence for a postulated model is collected by a search for compensating substitutions (Woese et al., 1983) i.e. evolutionary changes in one strand of a postulated helix compensated by a concomitant change in the opposite strand which preserves base pairing. Experimental approaches are usually employed in a subsequent stage, in attempts to verify or falsify proposed models or to make a choice among alternative possibilities.
KeywordsSecondary Structure Internal Loop Small Subunit rRNA Secondary Structure Model Large Subunit rRNA
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