INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN MICROBIOLOGIA Y PARASITOLOGIA MEDICA
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
The Ll.LtrB intron from Lactococcus lactis excises as circles in vivo: insights into the group II intron circularization pathway
CAROLINE MONAT; CECILIA QUIROGA; FELIX LAROCHE-JOHNSTON; BENOIT COUSINEAU
RNA (NEW YORK, N.Y.)
COLD SPRING HARBOR LAB PRESS
Año: 2015 p. 1286 - 1286
Group II introns are large ribozymes that require the assistance of intron-encoded or free-standing maturases to splice from their pre-mRNAs in vivo. They mainly splice through the classical branching pathway, being released as RNA lariats. However, group II introns can also splice through secondary pathways like hydrolysis and circularization leading to the release of linear and circular introns respectively. Here, we assessed in vivo splicing of various constructs of the Ll.LtrB group II intron from the Gram-positive bacterium Lactococcus lactis. The study of excised intron junctions revealed, in addition to branched intron lariats, the presence of perfect end-to-end intron circles and alternatively circularized introns. Removal of the branch point A residue prevented Ll.LtrB excision through the branching pathway but did not hinder intron circle formation. Complete intron RNA circles were found associated with the intron-encoded protein LtrA forming nevertheless inactive RNPs. Traces of double-stranded head-to-tail intron DNA junctions were also detected in L. lactis RNA and nucleic acid extracts. Some intron circles and alternatively circularized introns harbored variable number of non-encoded nucleotides at their splice junction. The presence of mRNA fragments at the splice junction of some intron RNA circles provides insights into the group II intron circularization pathway in bacteria.