Studies on the hammerhead RNA self-cleaving domain

Duane E. Ruffner, Sue Ann C Dahm, Oike C. Uhlenbeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Nine different hammerhead RNA self-cleaving domains consistent with the consensus secondary structure proposed by Keese and Symons (1987) were prepared and tested for cleavage. Each hammerhead was constructed from two oligoribonucleotides in two different configurations. Although cleavage was observed in all nine cases, the rates of cleavage varied by more than a thousand fold. The presence of RNA secondary structure incompatible with hammerhead formation in the individual oligos may be responsible for the large rate differences. We have also examined the degree of participation of a proposed dimer hammerhead intermediate in one case and conclude that, while such a four-stranded structure can form, it is not the preferred reaction intermediate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-41
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 15 1989


  • RNA enzymes
  • RNA secondary structure
  • processing of RNA
  • viroids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Genetics

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