The hairpin ribozyme catalyzes sequence-specific cleavage of RNA through transesterification of the scissile phosphate. Vanadate has previously been used as a transition state mimic of protein enzymes that catalyze the same reaction. Comparison of the 2.2 angstrom resolution structure of a vanadate-hairpin ribozyme complex with structures of precursor and product complexes reveals a rigid active site that makes more hydrogen bonds to the transition state than to the precursor or product. Because of the paucity of RNA functional groups capable of general acid-base or electrostatic catalysis, transition state stabilization is likely to be an important catalytic strategy for ribozymes.
Transition state stabilization by a catalytic RNA.,Rupert PB, Massey AP, Sigurdsson ST, Ferre-D'Amare AR Science. 2002 Nov 15;298(5597):1421-4. Epub 2002 Oct 10. PMID:12376595
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.