Comparisons between the sequences of insect and vertebrate 18S rRNAs and the sequences of mammalian formyl peptide and some vertebrate chemokine receptor mRNAs demonstrated non-random structural similarities between these two groups of RNAs. It has been proposed that sections of the more ancient and conserved rRNA genes could have participated in the building of these more recent genes involved in immune responses. Here we analyze the sequence architecture of the 18S rRNA in insects (Drosophila simulans) and vertebrates (man), in terms of similarities between selected segments within the individual molecules. The insect and vertebrate 18S rRNAs are basically similar, but show specific insertions/deletions and base changes. In spite of these differences, in both sequences a significantly higher-than-expected (by random occurrence) number of 7-or-more-base oligonucleotide repeats was observed between segments roughly corresponding to nt 350-1050 and nt 1150-1850, with mutual between-repeats distances comprised in the range 700-900 nt. Based on this result we performed a multialignment of segments 317-1035 of Drosophila, 360-1005 of man, 1096-1864 of Drosophila, and 1066-1736 of man, the first two segments covering the region of first occurrence of the repeats and the last two the region of recurrences. At both ends of these segments the four sequences could be aligned with relatively minor gaps and the number of base identities in all four sequences was significantly higher than expected by random coincidences. These results support the hypothesis that an ancestral gene structure, composed of a chain of about 700 nt, duplicated to form a two-unit tandem repeat which still represents the most substantial part of the 18S rRNA molecule in extant insects and vertebrates.
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|Titolo:||The Structure of the 18S rRNA, a molecule that might be evolutionarily related to some receptors of innate immunity|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2007|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|