Nucleobase catalysis in ribozyme mechanism

Philip C. Bevilacqua, Rieko Yajima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


RNA performs a wide range of functions in biology including catalysis of chemical reactions. A major goal in the field of ribozyme chemical biology is to understand these functions in molecular terms. There is increasing evidence that ribozymes can use their nucleobases directly in chemical catalysis in a variety of ways. These include hydrogen bonding to the transition state, stabilizing charge development, and transferring protons as general acid-base catalysts. This article highlights recent kinetic, structural, single molecule, and synthetic approaches that have been used to probe the roles of ribozyme nucleobases in phosphodiester bond cleavage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-464
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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