Group I intron ribozymes constitute one of the main classes of ribozymes and have been a particularly important model in the discovery of key concepts in RNA biology as well as in the development of new methods. Compared to other ribozyme classes, group I intron ribozymes display considerable variation both in their structure and the reactions they catalyze. The best described pathway is the splicing pathway that results in a spliced out intron and ligated exons. This is paralleled by the circularization pathway that leads to full-length circular intron and un-ligated exons. In addition, the intronic products of these pathways have the potential to integrate into targets and to form various types of circular RNA molecules. Thus, group I intron ribozymes and associated elements found within group I introns is a rich source of biological phenomena. This chapter provides a strategy and protocols for initial characterization of new group I intron ribozymes.
Methods in Molecular Biology (clifton, N.j.), 2012, Vol 848, p. 73-89