A small RNA that complements mutants in the RNA processing enzyme ribonuclease P

Swatantra K. Jain, Michael Gurevitz, David Apirion*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Four temperature-sensitive RNase P mutants were analyzed for the accumulation of 10 S RNA. In the 10 S region of the polyacrylamide gel two molecules appear, a and b. While the level of 10 Sa seems to be affected in some of the mutants, the 10 Sb molecule was not found in rnpB mutants. A plasmid (pL2), which contains Escherichia coli DNA sequences that complement, at least partially, rnp mutations, directs the synthesis of 10 Sb RNA. The presence of the pL2 plasmid complements the rnpA49, rnpB3187 and the rnpC241 mutations, as revealed by colony formation at "non-permissive" temperatures. However, the complementation of the rnpA49 mutation is much better than that of the other mutations. The complementation can also be measured by the increased level of RNase P activity in extracts. 10 Sa and b RNAs are unique among all RNAs tested thus far, since they are stable during exponential growth at 30 °C and 37 °C. However, at higher temperatures, such as 43 °C, the molecules are somewhat less stable, and they become rather labile when RNA synthesis is blocked by rifampicin. Structural analysis revealed that the 10 Sa and 10 Sb RNA molecules have dissimilar sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-533
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Dec 1982
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of General Medical SciencesR01GM019821
U.S. Public Health Service


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