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February 15, 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 4)

RNase P Database

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With an opening page that looks like tinsel from an Christmas/New Year’s party dumped on a sequence map of a nucleic acid, the RNase P Database certainly catches the eye. RNAse P, in case you’ve forgotten your molecular biology, is a ribonucleoprotein responsible for maturation of the 5´ end of tRNAs. In bacteria, the RNA subunit is catalytically active (ribozyme). The RNAse P Database, now in its 12th release, provides sequences of these RNAs across the evolutionary spectrum. In addition, visitors can view alignments across all bacteria, archaea, plastids, and mitochondria. One caveat—the alignments are not in standard form and are difficult to interpret. Other features of the site include 3-D models of RNAs from selected species. A set of links rounds out the site. Researchers of RNase P undoubtedly will find the site of considerable utility.
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