Template-directed primer extension catalyzed by the Tetrahymena ribozyme

Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Jun;11(6):3390-4. doi: 10.1128/mcb.11.6.3390-3394.1991.


The Tetrahymena ribozyme has been shown to catalyze an RNA polymerase-like reaction in which an RNA primer is extended by the sequential addition of pN nucleotides derived from GpN dinucleotides, where N = A, C, or U. Here, we show that this reaction is influenced by the presence of a template; bases that can form Watson-Crick base pairs with a template add as much as 25-fold more efficiently than mismatched bases. A mutant enzyme with an altered guanosine binding site can catalyze template-directed primer extension with all four bases when supplied with dinucleotides of the form 2-aminopurine-pN.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Dinucleoside Phosphates
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Catalytic / metabolism*
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Tetrahymena / genetics*


  • Dinucleoside Phosphates
  • RNA, Catalytic