Molecular basis of box C/D RNA-protein interactions; cocrystal structure of archaeal L7Ae and a box C/D RNA

Structure. 2004 May;12(5):807-18. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2004.02.033.


We have determined and refined a crystal structure of the initial assembly complex of archaeal box C/D sRNPs comprising the Archaeoglobus fulgidus (AF) L7Ae protein and a box C/D RNA. The box C/D RNA forms a classical kink-turn (K-turn) structure and the resulting protein-RNA complex serves as a distinct platform for recruitment of the fibrillarin-Nop5p complex. The cocrystal structure confirms previously proposed secondary structure of the box C/D RNA that includes a protruded U, a UU mismatch, and two sheared tandem GA base pairs. Detailed structural comparisons of the AF L7Ae-box C/D RNA complex with previously determined crystal structures of L7Ae homologs in complex with functionally distinct K-turn RNAs revealed a set of remarkably conserved principles in protein-RNA interactions. These analyses provide a structural basis for interpreting the functional roles of the box C/D sequences in directing specific assembly of box C/D sRNPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Archaeoglobus fulgidus / chemistry
  • Archaeoglobus fulgidus / genetics
  • Archaeoglobus fulgidus / metabolism
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Ribonucleoproteins / chemistry
  • Ribosomal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Ribosomal Proteins / metabolism
  • Static Electricity


  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • RNA

Associated data

  • PDB/1RLG