E.coli intron?

Keith Robison robison1 at husc10.harvard.edu
Fri Oct 29 09:02:11 EST 1993


LEES at SASK.USASK.CA writes:

>Hello,

>Is introns of prokaryotes really intron like those of eukaryotes?
>Are they between coding region and spliced before translation into 
>protein? 

All known prokaryotic introns are self-splicing -- hence they
appear to be very different from eukaryotic nuclear introns
(which require a complex spliceosomal apparatus) but similar
to organellar introns.
Most introns in prokaryotes are in tRNA genes; however I believe the
T4 phage intron is in a protein-coding regions as well as the recently
described group II introns (the Nature reference is floating around
somewhere).

Reviews on the subject are not difficult to come by -- there was a
News & Views accompanying the recent Nature paper, and Belfort has
written several.  

A smattering of cases of segments which splice _after_ translation
(i.e. self-splicing intervening protein segments) have been identified
in bacteria.  A review just appeared in the October issue of BioEssays.


Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI

robison at biosun.harvard.edu 



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