Selection and characterization of randomly produced mutants in the gene coding for M1 RNA

Nadya Lumelsky, Sidney Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The gene for M1 RNA, the catalytic subunit of RNase P of Escherichia coli, was subjected to random chemical mutagenesis in vitro. Mutations were selected by electrophoresis in denaturing gradient gels. Twenty-seven different mutants of the gene for M1 RNA were selected, and in 24 cases the mutations were identified as single base substitutions. The mutant forms of M1 RNA were analyzed in vitro for catalytic activity in the absence and in the presence of the protein subunit of RNase P (C5 protein). The structure of mutant RNAs was probed by limited digestion with ribonuclease T1; a correlation between reduced catalytic activity of mutant M1 RNAs and perturbations in secondary and tertiary structure was noted in many cases. The results indicate the involvement of specific regions of the M1 RNA molecule in the catalytic function of RNase P, in the binding of the C5 protein, and in substrate binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-454
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 5 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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