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Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Jan 19;33(2):478-85. Print 2005.

Ribosomal protein L1 recognizes the same specific structural motif in its target sites on the autoregulatory mRNA and 23S rRNA.

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Institute of Protein Research, Russian Academy of Sciences 142290 Pushchino, Moscow region, Russia.


The RNA-binding ability of ribosomal protein L1 is of profound interest since the protein has a dual function as a ribosomal protein binding rRNA and as a translational repressor binding its mRNA. Here, we report the crystal structure of ribosomal protein L1 in complex with a specific fragment of its mRNA and compare it with the structure of L1 in complex with a specific fragment of 23S rRNA determined earlier. In both complexes, a strongly conserved RNA structural motif is involved in L1 binding through a conserved network of RNA-protein H-bonds inaccessible to the solvent. These interactions should be responsible for specific recognition between the protein and RNA. A large number of additional non-conserved RNA-protein H-bonds stabilizes both complexes. The added contribution of these non-conserved H-bonds makes the ribosomal complex much more stable than the regulatory one.

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