Modulating RNA structure and catalysis: lessons from small cleaving ribozymes

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Dec;66(24):3937-50. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0124-1. Epub 2009 Aug 30.


RNA is a key molecule in life, and comprehending its structure/function relationships is a crucial step towards a more complete understanding of molecular biology. Even though most of the information required for their correct folding is contained in their primary sequences, we are as yet unable to accurately predict both the folding pathways and active tertiary structures of RNA species. Ribozymes are interesting molecules to study when addressing these questions because any modifications in their structures are often reflected in their catalytic properties. The recent progress in the study of the structures, the folding pathways and the modulation of the small ribozymes derived from natural, self-cleaving, RNA motifs have significantly contributed to today's knowledge in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Catalysis
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation*
  • RNA / chemistry*
  • RNA / genetics
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Catalytic / chemistry*
  • RNA, Catalytic / genetics
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism


  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA