Secondary structure comparisons between small subunit ribosomal RNA molecules from six different species

Christian Zwieb, Carola Glotz, Richard Brimacombe

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Secondary structure models are presented for three pairs of small subunit ribosomal RNA molecules. These are the 16S rRNA from E. coli cytoplasmic and Z. mays chloroplast ribosomes,the 18S rRNA from S. cerevisiae and X. laevis cytoplasmic ribosomes, and the 12S rRNA from human and mouse mitochondrial ribosomes. Using the experimentally-established secondary structure of the E. coli 16S rRNA as a basis, the models were derived both by searching for primary structural homology between the three classes of sequence (12S, 16S, 18S), and also by searching for compensating base changes in putative helical regions of each pair of sequences. The models support the concept that secondary structure of ribosomal RNA has been extensively conserved throughout evolution, differences in length between the three classes of sequence being accomodated in distinct regions of the molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3621-3640
Number of pages20
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 11 1981
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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