CUG repeats present in myotonin kinase RNA form metastable 'slippery' hairpins

Marek Napierała, Włodzimierz J. Krzyzosiak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


We show that CUG repeats form 'slippery' hairpins in their natural sequence context of the myotonin kinase gene transcript. This novel type of RNA structure is characterized by strong S1 and T1 nuclease and lead cleavages in the terminal loop and by mild lead cleavages in the hairpin stem. The latter effect indicates a relaxed metastable structure of the stem. (CUG)5 repeats do not form any detectable secondary structure, whereas hairpins of increasing stability are formed by (CUG)11, (CUG)21, and (CUG)49. The potential role of the RNA hairpin structure in the pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31079-31085
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 5 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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