2Department of Molecular and Cellular Genetics, UMR 7156, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg 67084, France
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received November 19, 2007; Revision received February 18, 2008
Small non-coding RNAs are today a topic of great interest for molecular biologists because they can be regarded as relicts of a hypothetical “RNA world” which, apparently, preceded the modern stage of organic evolution on Earth. The small molecule of 5S rRNA (~120 nucleotides) is a component of large ribosomal subunits of all living beings (5S rRNAs are not found only in mitoribosomes of fungi and metazoans). This molecule interacts with various protein factors and 23S (28S) rRNA. This review contains the accumulated data to date concerning 5S rRNA structure, interactions with other biological macromolecules, intracellular traffic, and functions in the cell.
KEY WORDS: 5S rRNA, structure, RNA-protein interaction, ribosome, intracellular transport