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An RNA molecule that acts as a catalyst, especially for the cleavage of RNA strands at specific sites.


(Biochemistry) an RNA molecule capable of catalysing a chemical reaction, usually the cleavage of another RNA molecule
[C20: from ribo(nucleic acid) + (en)zyme]


(ˈraɪ bəˌzaɪm)
a segment of RNA that can act as a catalyst.
[1985–90; ribo(some) + (en)zyme]
ri`bo•zy′mal, adj.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Joyce and others have created such ribozymes in the laboratory and have found that RNA's propensity to form sticky base pairs with other RNA -- which is a useful property for its various cellular functions -- hampers its ability to work as a copier of other RNA molecules.
But to do their work, ribozymes need to first get into the cells, and for that they need help.
Hammerhead ribozymes are small, catalytic RNAs that can be designed to target and cleave substrate RNAs at sequence specific sites (14).
The ability of HIV to adapt to novel antiviral drugs makes gene therapy and the use of ribozymes a promising avenue of research in the battle against AIDS.
Scientists, seeking to improve on nature, have even synthesized these so-called ribozymes in test tubes (SN: 8/7/93, p.
To some extent, all ribozymes fall under the category of antisense RNAs (reviewed in the previous issue), because they depend upon the binding of their nucleic acid sequence to complementary sequences in the target mRNA.
Ribozymes are the product of Nobel Prize-winning research and are synthetically engineered to act as "molecular scissors" capable of cleaving target RNA in a highly specific manner, blocking gene expression and preventing production of unwanted proteins.
Boulder, CO; 303-449-6500) announced the issuance of United States Patent 6,346,398 with broad claims covering ribozymes and antisense nucleic acid molecules that inhibit Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor receptor (flt-1) gene expression.
Naturally occurring ribozymes may be used in chemotherapy, but they are large, expensive, and fragile RNA molecules.
The idea: Into certain strategic cells, insert molecular strands called ribozymes that destroy HIV.
Certain types of RNA called ribozymes are capable of both storing genetic information and catalyzing chemical reactions - two necessary features in the formation of life.