Natural RNA catalysts (ribozymes) perform essential reactions in biological RNA processing and protein synthesis, whereby catalysis is intrinsic to RNA structure alone or in combination with metal ion cofactors. The recently discovered glmS ribozyme is unique in that it functions as a glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P)-dependent catalyst believed to enable "riboswitch" regulation of amino-sugar biosynthesis in certain prokaryotes. However, it is unclear whether GlcN6P functions as an effector or coenzyme to promote ribozyme self-cleavage. Herein, we demonstrate that ligand is absolutely requisite for glmS ribozyme self-cleavage activity. Furthermore, catalysis both requires and is dependent upon the acid dissociation constant (pKa) of the amine functionality of GlcN6P and related compounds. The data demonstrate that ligand is integral to catalysis, consistent with a coenzyme role for GlcN6P and illustrating an expanded capacity for biological RNA catalysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry