In this study, we used a FRAX597 clinical trial combination of recombination, in vitro selection, and comparative sequence analysis to characterize the fitness landscape of a previously isolated kinase ribozyme. Point mutations present in improved variants of this ribozyme were recombined in vitro in more than 10(14) different arrangements using synthetic shuffling, and active variants were isolated by in vitro selection. Mutual information analysis
of 65 recombinant ribozymes isolated in the selection revealed a rugged fitness landscape in which approximately one-third of the 91 pairs of positions analyzed showed evidence of correlation. Pairs of correlated positions overlapped to form densely connected networks, and groups of maximally connected nucleotides occurred significantly more often in these networks than they did in randomized control networks with the same number
of links. The activity of the most efficient recombinant ribozyme isolated from the synthetically shuffled pool was 30-fold greater than that of any of the ribozymes used to build it, which indicates that synthetic shuffling can be a rich source of ribozyme variants with improved properties.”
“Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is a newly emerged orthobunyavirus (family Bunyaviridae) that has caused severe disease in the offspring of farm animals across Europe. Like all orthobunyaviruses, SBV contains a tripartite negative-sense RNA genome that is encapsidated by the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein
in the form of a Selisistat ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP). We recently reported the three-dimensional structure of SBV N that revealed a novel fold. Here we report the crystal structure of the SBV N protein in complex with a 42-nt-long RNA to 2.16 angstrom resolution. The complex comprises first a tetramer of N that encapsidates the RNA as a cross-shape inside the protein ring structure, with each protomer bound to 11 ribonucleotides. Eight bases are bound in the positively charged cleft between the N- and C-terminal domains of N, and three bases are shielded by the extended N-terminal arm. SBV N appears to sequester RNA using a different mechanism compared with the nucleoproteins of other negative-sense RNA viruses. Furthermore, the structure suggests that RNA binding results in conformational changes of some residues in the RNA-binding cleft and the N- and C-terminal arms. Our results provide new insights into the novel mechanism of RNA encapsidation by orthobunyaviruses.”
“N-1 Methylation of the nearly invariant purine residue found at position 9 of tRNA is a nucleotide modification found in multiple tRNA species throughout Eukarya and Archaea. First discovered in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the tRNA methyltransferase Trm10 is a highly conserved protein both necessary and sufficient to catalyze all known instances of m(1)G(9) modification in yeast.