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Archaea
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 614735, 14 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/614735
Review Article

Ribonucleoproteins in Archaeal Pre-rRNA Processing and Modification

1Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
2Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
3Department of Therapeutic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA
4Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

Received 12 October 2012; Revised 9 January 2013; Accepted 15 January 2013

Academic Editor: Anita Marchfelder

Copyright © 2013 W. S. Vincent Yip et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Given that ribosomes are one of the most important cellular macromolecular machines, it is not surprising that there is intensive research in ribosome biogenesis. Ribosome biogenesis is a complex process. The maturation of ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) requires not only the precise cleaving and folding of the pre-rRNA but also extensive nucleotide modifications. At the heart of the processing and modifications of pre-rRNAs in Archaea and Eukarya are ribonucleoprotein (RNP) machines. They are called small RNPs (sRNPs), in Archaea, and small nucleolar RNPs (snoRNPs), in Eukarya. Studies on ribosome biogenesis originally focused on eukaryotic systems. However, recent studies on archaeal sRNPs have provided important insights into the functions of these RNPs. This paper will introduce archaeal rRNA gene organization and pre-rRNA processing, with a particular focus on the discovery of the archaeal sRNP components, their functions in nucleotide modification, and their structures.