Caister Academic Press

The Hammerhead Ribozyme Revisited: New Biological Insights for the Development of Therapeutic Agents and for Reverse Genomics Applications

Justin Hean and Marc S. Weinberg
from: RNA and the Regulation of Gene Expression: A Hidden Layer of Complexity (Edited by: Kevin V. Morris). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Hammerhead ribozymes are the smallest known naturally occurring ribozymes which are capable of catalyzing the endonucleolytic trans-esterification of RNA. A recent re-examination of the catalytic properties of naturally-derived hammerhead ribozymes has resulted in a better understanding of the catalytic efficiency of this enzyme in vitro and in vivo. The minimal trans-cleaving hammerhead ribozyme has been a ubiquitous tool in both genomics and therapeutics research over the last twenty years and these new insights into hammerhead ribozyme biochemistry may offer hope for the generation of improved trans-cleaving ribozymes which function effectively in vivo. Next-generation hammerhead ribozymes may play an important role as therapeutic agents, as enzymes which tailor defined RNA sequences, as biosensors, and for applications in functional genomics and gene discovery read more ...
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