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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. The crystal structure of a group II intron shows a complex architecture with metal ions at the catalytic center. Group II introns are a type of RNA enzyme (ribozyme) that catalyze their own excision from RNA transcripts. Group II introns probably represent the molecular ancestors of the spliceosome, a complex assembly of five RNA molecules and many proteins that removes introns from many eukaryotic RNA transcripts. On page 77 of this issue, Toor et al. describe the crystal structure of a self-spliced group II intron at 3.1 Ã resolution, revealing for the first time the molecular details of this versatile catalytic RNA.
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