The rnhB gene encoding RNase HII of Streptococcus pneumoniae and evidence of conserved motifs in eucaryotic genes.


A single RNase H enzyme was detected in extracts of Streptococcus ...
A single RNase H enzyme was detected in extracts of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The gene encoding this enzyme was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, as demonstrated by its ability to complement a double-mutant rnhA recC strain. Sequence analysis of the cloned DNA revealed an open reading frame of 290 codons that encodes a polypeptide of 31.9 kDa. The predicted protein exhibits a low level of homology (19% identity of amino acid residues) to RNase HII encoded by rnhB of E. coli. Identification of the S. pneumoniae RNase HII translation start site by amino-terminal sequencing of the protein and of mRNA start sites by primer extension with reverse transcriptase showed that the major transcript encoding rnhB begins at the protein start site. Comparison of the S. pneumoniae and E. coli RNase HII sequences and sequences of other, putative bacterial rnhB gene products surmised from sequencing data revealed three conserved motifs. Use of these motifs to search for homologous genes in eucaryotes demonstrated the presence of rnhB genes in a yeast and a roundworm. Partial rnhB gene sequences were detected among expressed sequences of mouse and human cells. From these data, it appears that RNase HII is universally present in living cells.




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