Characterization of the molecular basis of group II intron RNA recognition by CRS1-CRM domains

Ido Keren, Liron Klipcan, Ayenachew Bezawork-Geleta, Max Kolton, Felix Shaya, Oren Ostersetzer-Biran*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


CRM (chloroplast RNA splicing and ribosome maturation) is a recently recognized RNA-binding domain of ancient origin that has been retained in eukaryotic genomes only within the plant lineage. Whereas in bacteria CRM domains exist as single domain proteins involved in ribosome maturation, in plants they are found in a family of proteins that contain between one and four repeats. Several members of this family with multiple CRMdomains have been shown to be required for the splicing of specific plastidic group II introns. Detailed biochemical analysis of one of these factors in maize, CRS1, demonstrated its high affinity and specific binding to the single group II intron whose splicing it facilitates, the plastid-encoded atpF intron RNA. Through its association with two intronic regions, CRS1 guides the folding of atpF intron RNA into its predicted "catalytically active" form. To understand how multiple CRM domains cooperate to achieve high affinity sequence-specific binding to RNA, we analyzed the RNA binding affinity and specificity associated with each individual CRM domain in CRS1; whereas CRM3 bound tightly to the RNA, CRM1 associated specifically with a unique region found within atpF intron domain I. CRM2, which demonstrated only low binding affinity, also seems to form specific interactions with regions localized to domains I, III, and IV. We further show that CRM domains share structural similarities and RNA binding characteristics with the well known RNA recognition motif domain.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23333-23342
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number34
StatePublished - 22 Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes


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