The protein encoded by chimeric BCR-ABL mRNA causes chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). We showed previously that a novel allosterically controllable ribozyme, of the type known as a maxizyme, can cleave this mRNA, with high specificity and high-level activity in vivo. In order to probe the putative conformational changes, we used a weakly alkaline solution to hydrolyze differentially phosphodiester bonds that were located in different environments. As indicated by earlier data obtained in vivo, our results demonstrated that the active conformation was achieved only in the presence of the junction within the chimeric BCR-ABL mRNA.
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