In search of RNase P RNA from microbial genomes

Yong Li, Sidney Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A simple procedure has been developed to quickly retrieve and validate the DNA sequence encoding the RNA subunit of ribonuclease P (RNase P RNA) from microbial genomes. RNase P RNA sequences were identified from 94% of bacterial and archaeal complete genomes where previously no RNase P RNA was annotated. A sequence was found in camelpox virus, highly conserved in all orthopoxviruses (including smallpox virus), which could fold into a putative RNase P RNA in terms of conserved primary features and secondary structure. New structure features of RNase P RNA that enable one to distinguish bacteria from archaea and eukarya were found. This RNA is yet another RNA that can be a molecular criterion to divide the living world into three domains (bacteria, archaea, and eukarya). The catalytic center of this RNA, and its detection from some environmental whole genome shotgun sequences, is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1533-1540
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Camelpox virus
  • Core structure
  • Pattern recognition sequence
  • Preprocessing programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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