The hammerhead ribozyme

K. F. Blount, Olke C. Uhlenbeck*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


The hammerhead ribozyme is a small RNA motif consisting of three helices that intersect at a conserved core. When correctly folded, the hammerhead ribozyme stimulates nearly complete cleavage of the phosphodiester chain at a defined internal site to give 2′,3′-cyclic and 5′-hydroxy termini. The cleavage rate is approx. 1 min-1 at 25°C, pH 7.5, and increases proportionally with hydroxide ion concentration between pH 5 and pH 9. As the rate of non-catalysed cleavage of RNA to form the same products is approx. 10-6 min-1 under similar conditions, an important goal is to understand how the folded structure of this small ribozyme increases the rate of alkaline cleavage 106-fold at this specific site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1122
Number of pages4
JournalBiochemical Society transactions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


  • Cleavage kinetics
  • Metalloenzyme
  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The hammerhead ribozyme'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this