The retrovirus-like particles of Drosophila are intermediates of retrotransposition of the transposable element copia. In these particles, a 39-nucleotide-long fragment from the 5′ region of Drosophila initiator methionine tRNA (tRNAi Met) is used as the primer for copia minus-strand reverse transcription. To function as primer for this reverse transcription, the Drosophila tRNAi Met must be cleaved in vivo at the site between nucleotides 39 and 40. When a synthetic Drosophila tRNAi Met precursor was incubated with M1RNA, the catalytic RNA of Escherichia coli RNase P, other cleavages within the mature tRNA sequence were detected in addition to the efficient removal of the 5′ leader sequence of this tRNA precursor. One of these cleavage sites is between nucleotides 39 and 40 of Drosophila tRNAi Met. Based on this result, we propose a model for formation of the primer tRNA fragment for reverse transcription in copia retrovirus-like particles.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|
- Rna enzyme
- tRNA secondary structure
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