Liposome membrane can induce self-cleavage of RNA that models the core fragments of hammerhead ribozyme

Keishi Suga, Seishiro Tanaka, Hiroshi Umakoshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Abstract: The hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) is one of smallest catalytic RNAs, composed of a catalytic core and three stems; it undergoes self-cleavage in the presence of divalent magnesium ions (Mg2+) or other cations. It is hypothesized that the function and metabolism of RNAs might be regulated via interaction with lipid membranes in the prebiotic world. Using synthetic RNAs that model the core fragment of hammerhead ribozyme-like assembly (HHR-a), we investigated the enhancement of the self-cleavage reaction of HHR-a induced by the liposomes, both in the absence and presence of Mg2+. The HHR-a activity was enhanced by 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE)/1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) = 8/2 liposome with Mg2+, while other liposomes did not so significant. In the presence of DOPE/DPPC = 8/2 liposome, the HHR-a activity was observed without Mg2+, revealed by the conformational change of the HHR inhibitor complex induced by the interaction with the liposome. The UV resonance Raman spectroscopy analysis investigated the interaction between lipid molecules and nucleobases, suggesting that the ethanolamine group of DOPE molecules are assumed to act as monovalent cations alternative to Mg2+, depending on the liposome membrane characteristics. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Hammerhead ribozyme
  • Liposome
  • Membranome
  • Metal ion-free
  • RNA conformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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