Self-Splicing Introns

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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Some mitochondrial, protist and archaeal genes have autocatalytic self-splicing introns (as opposed to nuclear spliceosome-dependent introns). These introns fold into specific secondary and tertiary structures that catalyze their own excision, without proteins. There are two families of these introns -- Group I and and Group II -- and Group II autocatalytic introns are thought to operate with a similar mechanism to the spliceosome catalytic center.