Multiple Occurrences of an Efficient Self-Phosphorylating Deoxyribozyme Motif
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The catalytic and structural characteristics of two new self-phosphorylating deoxyribozymes (referred to as deoxyribozyme kinases), denoted "Dk3" and "Dk4", are compared to those of Dk2, a previously reported deoxyribozyme kinase. All three deoxyribozymes not only utilize GTP as the source of activated phosphate and Mn(II) as the divalent metal cofactor but also share a common secondary structure with significant sequence variations. Multiple Watson-Crick helices are identified within the secondary structure, and these helical interactions confine three extremely conserved sequence elements of 8, 5, and 14 nucleotides in length, presumably for the formation of the catalytic core for GTP binding and the self-phosphorylating reaction. The locations of the conserved regions suggest that these three deoxyribozymes arose independently from in vitro selection. The existence of three sequence variants of the same deoxyribozyme from the same in vitro selection experiment implies that these catalytic DNAs may represent the simplest structural solution for the DNA self-phosphorylation reaction when GTP is used as the substrate.
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