Pfam includes annotations and additional family information from a range of different sources. These sources can be accessed via the tabs below.
This is the Wikipedia entry entitled "Ribonuclease". More...
The Wikipedia text that you see displayed here is a download from Wikipedia. This means that the information we display is a copy of the information from the Wikipedia database. The button next to the article title ("Edit Wikipedia article") takes you to the edit page for the article directly within Wikipedia. You should be aware you are not editing our local copy of this information. Any changes that you make to the Wikipedia article will not be displayed here until we next download the article from Wikipedia. We currently download new content on a nightly basis.
Does Pfam agree with the content of the Wikipedia entry ?
Pfam has chosen to link families to Wikipedia articles. In some case we have created or edited these articles but in many other cases we have not made any direct contribution to the content of the article. The Wikipedia community does monitor edits to try to ensure that (a) the quality of article annotation increases, and (b) vandalism is very quickly dealt with. However, we would like to emphasise that Pfam does not curate the Wikipedia entries and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information on the Wikipedia page.
Editing Wikipedia articles
Before you edit for the first time
Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia. Although anyone can edit or contribute to an article, Wikipedia has some strong editing guidelines and policies, which promote the Wikipedia standard of style and etiquette. Your edits and contributions are more likely to be accepted (and remain) if they are in accordance with this policy.
You should take a few minutes to view the following pages:
How your contribution will be recorded
Anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry. You can do this either as a new user or you can register with Wikipedia and log on. When you click on the "Edit Wikipedia article" button, your browser will direct you to the edit page for this entry in Wikipedia. If you are a registered user and currently logged in, your changes will be recorded under your Wikipedia user name. However, if you are not a registered user or are not logged on, your changes will be logged under your computer's IP address. This has two main implications. Firstly, as a registered Wikipedia user your edits are more likely seen as valuable contribution (although all edits are open to community scrutiny regardless). Secondly, if you edit under an IP address you may be sharing this IP address with other users. If your IP address has previously been blocked (due to being flagged as a source of 'vandalism') your edits will also be blocked. You can find more information on this and creating a user account at Wikipedia.
If you have problems editing a particular page, contact us at email@example.com and we will try to help.
The community annotation is a new facility of the Pfam web site. If you have problems editing or experience problems with these pages please contact us.
Ribonuclease Edit Wikipedia article
Ustilago sphaerogena Ribonuclease U2 with AMP PDB entry 
Ribonuclease (commonly abbreviated RNase) is a type of nuclease that catalyzes the degradation of RNA into smaller components. Ribonucleases can be divided into endoribonucleases and exoribonucleases, and comprise several sub-classes within the EC 2.7 (for the phosphorolytic enzymes) and 3.1 (for the hydrolytic enzymes) classes of enzymes.
All organisms studied contain many RNases of two different classes, showing that RNA degradation is a very ancient and important process. As well as cleaning of cellular RNA that is no longer required, RNases play key roles in the maturation of all RNA molecules, both messenger RNAs that carry genetic material for making proteins, and non-coding RNAs that function in varied cellular processes. In addition, active RNA degradation systems are a first defense against RNA viruses, and provide the underlying machinery for more advanced cellular immune strategies such as RNAi.
Some cells also secrete copious quantities of non-specific RNases such as A and T1. RNases are, therefore, extremely common, resulting in very short lifespans for any RNA that is not in a protected environment. It is worth noting that all intracellular RNAs are protected from RNase activity by a number of strategies including 5' end capping, 3' end polyadenylation, and folding within an RNA protein complex (ribonucleoprotein particle or RNP).
Another mechanism of protection is ribonuclease inhibitor (RI), which comprises a relatively large fraction of cellular protein (~0.1%) in some cell types, and which binds to certain ribonucleases with the highest affinity of any protein-protein interaction; the dissociation constant for the RI-RNase A complex is ~20 fM under physiological conditions. RI is used in most laboratories that study RNA to protect their samples against degradation from environmental RNases.
Similar to restriction enzymes, which cleave highly specific sequences of double-stranded DNA, a variety of endoribonucleases that recognize and cleave specific sequences of single-stranded RNA have been recently classified.
RNases play a critical role in many biological processes, including angiogenesis and self-incompatibility in flowering plants (angiosperms). Many stress-response toxins of prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin systems have been shown to have RNase activity and homology.
Major types of endoribonucleases
- EC 126.96.36.199: RNase A is an RNase that is commonly used in research. RNase A (e.g., bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A: ) is one of the hardiest enzymes in common laboratory usage; one method of isolating it is to boil a crude cellular extract until all enzymes other than RNase A are denatured. It is specific for single-stranded RNAs. It cleaves the 3'-end of unpaired C and U residues, ultimately forming a 3'-phosphorylated product via a 2',3'-cyclic monophosphate intermediate. It does not require any cofactors for its activity 
- EC 188.8.131.52: RNase H is a ribonuclease that cleaves the RNA in a DNA/RNA duplex to produce ssDNA. RNase H is a non-specific endonuclease and catalyzes the cleavage of RNA via a hydrolytic mechanism, aided by an enzyme-bound divalent metal ion. RNase H leaves a 5'-phosphorylated product.
- EC 184.108.40.206: RNase III is a type of ribonuclease that cleaves rRNA (16s rRNA and 23s rRNA) from transcribed polycistronic RNA operon in prokaryotes. It also digests double strands RNA (dsRNA)-Dicer family of RNAse, cutting pre-miRNA (60–70bp long) at a specific site and transforming it in miRNA (22–30bp), that is actively involved in the regulation of transcription and mRNA life-time.
- EC number 3.1.26.-??: RNase L is an interferon-induced nuclease that, upon activation, destroys all RNA within the cell
- EC 220.127.116.11: RNase P is a type of ribonuclease that is unique in that it is a ribozyme – a ribonucleic acid that acts as a catalyst in the same way as an enzyme. Its function is to cleave off an extra, or precursor tRNA, sequence on the 5' end of one stranded RNA. RNase P is one of two known multiple turnover ribozymes in nature (the other being the ribosome). For example, in bacteria RNase P is also responsible for the catalytic activity of holoenzymes, which consist of an apoenzyme that forms an active enzyme system by combination with a coenzyme and determines the specificity of this system for a substrate. A form of RNase P that is a protein and does not contain RNA has recently been discovered.
- EC number 3.1.??: RNase PhyM is sequence specific for single-stranded RNAs. It cleaves 3'-end of unpaired A and U residues.
- EC 18.104.22.168: RNase T1 is sequence specific for single-stranded RNAs. It cleaves 3'-end of unpaired G residues.
- EC 22.214.171.124: RNase T2 is sequence specific for single-stranded RNAs. It cleaves 3'-end of all 4 residues, but preferentially 3'-end of As.
- EC 126.96.36.199: RNase U2 is sequence specific for single-stranded RNAs. It cleaves 3'-end of unpaired A residues.
- EC 188.8.131.52: RNase V is specific for polyadenine and polyuridine RNA.
Major types of exoribonucleases
- EC number EC 184.108.40.206: Polynucleotide Phosphorylase (PNPase) functions as an exonuclease as well as a nucleotidyltransferase.
- EC number EC 220.127.116.11: RNase PH functions as an exonuclease as well as a nucleotidyltransferase.
- EC number 3.1.??: RNase R is a close homolog of RNase II, but it can, unlike RNase II, degrade RNA with secondary structures without help of accessory factors.
- EC number EC 18.104.22.168: RNase D is involved in the 3'-to-5' processing of pre-tRNAs.
- EC number 3.1.??: RNase T is the major contributor for the 3'-to-5' maturation of many stable RNAs.
- EC 22.214.171.124: Oligoribonuclease degrades short oligonucleotides to mononucleotides.
- EC 126.96.36.199: Exoribonuclease I degrades single-stranded RNA from 5'-to-3', exists only in eukaryotes.
- EC 188.8.131.52: Exoribonuclease II is a close homolog of Exoribonuclease I.
The active site looks like a rift valley where all the active side residues create the wall and bottom of the valley. the rift is very thin and the small substrate fits perfectly in the middle of the active site, which allows for perfect interaction with the residues. It actually has a little curvature to the site which the substrate also has. Although, usually most of exo- and endoribonucleases are not sequence specific, recently CRISPR/Cas system natively recognizing and cutting DNA was engineered to cleave ssRNA in sequence specific manner.
RNase contamination during RNA extraction
The extraction of RNA in molecular biology experiments is greatly complicated by the presence of ubiquitous and hardy ribonucleases that degrade RNA samples. Certain RNases can be extremely hardy and inactivating them is difficult compared to neutralizing DNases. In addition to the cellular RNases that are released, there are several RNases that are present in the environment. RNases have evolved to have many extracellular functions in various organisms. For example, RNase 7, a member of the RNase A superfamily, is secreted by human skin and serves as a potent antipathogen defence. In these secreted RNases, the enzymatic RNase activity may not even be necessary for its new, exapted function. For example, immune RNases act by destabilizing the cell membranes of bacteria.
- Noguchi S (July 2010). "Isomerization mechanism of aspartate to isoaspartate implied by structures of Ustilago sphaerogena ribonuclease U2 complexed with adenosine 3'-monophosphate". Acta Crystallographica D. 66 (Pt 7): 843–9. doi:10.1107/S0907444910019621. PMID 20606265.
- Sporn MB, Roberts AB (6 December 2012). Peptide Growth Factors and Their Receptors II. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 556. ISBN 978-3-642-74781-6.
- Raghavan V (6 December 2012). Developmental Biology of Flowering Plants. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 237. ISBN 978-1-4612-1234-8.
- Ramage HR, Connolly LE, Cox JS (December 2009). "Comprehensive functional analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis toxin-antitoxin systems: implications for pathogenesis, stress responses, and evolution". PLoS Genetics. 5 (12): e1000767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000767. PMC . PMID 20011113.
- Cuchillo CM, Nogués MV, Raines RT (September 2011). "Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease: fifty years of the first enzymatic reaction mechanism". Biochemistry. 50 (37): 7835–41. doi:10.1021/bi201075b. PMC . PMID 21838247.
- Nowotny M (February 2009). "Retroviral integrase superfamily: the structural perspective". EMBO Reports. 10 (2): 144–51. doi:10.1038/embor.2008.256. PMC . PMID 19165139.
- Holzmann J, Frank P, Löffler E, Bennett KL, Gerner C, Rossmanith W (October 2008). "RNase P without RNA: identification and functional reconstitution of the human mitochondrial tRNA processing enzyme". Cell. 135 (3): 462–74. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2008.09.013. PMID 18984158.
- Tamulaitis G, Kazlauskiene M, Manakova E, Venclovas Č, Nwokeoji AO, Dickman MJ, Horvath P, Siksnys V (November 2014). "Programmable RNA shredding by the type III-A CRISPR-Cas system of Streptococcus thermophilus". Molecular Cell. 56 (4): 506–17. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2014.09.027. PMID 25458845.
- Rossier O, Dao J, Cianciotto NP (March 2009). "A type II secreted RNase of Legionella pneumophila facilitates optimal intracellular infection of Hartmannella vermiformis". Microbiology. 155 (Pt 3): 882–90. doi:10.1099/mic.0.023218-0. PMC . PMID 19246759.
- Luhtala N, Parker R (May 2010). "T2 Family ribonucleases: ancient enzymes with diverse roles". Trends in Biochemical Sciences. 35 (5): 253–9. doi:10.1016/j.tibs.2010.02.002. PMC . PMID 20189811.
- Dyer KD, Rosenberg HF (November 2006). "The RNase a superfamily: generation of diversity and innate host defense". Molecular Diversity. 10 (4): 585–97. doi:10.1007/s11030-006-9028-2. PMID 16969722.
- Harder J, Schroder JM (November 2002). "RNase 7, a novel innate immune defense antimicrobial protein of healthy human skin". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 277 (48): 46779–84. doi:10.1074/jbc.M207587200. PMID 12244054.
- Köten B, Simanski M, Gläser R, Podschun R, Schröder JM, Harder J (July 2009). "RNase 7 contributes to the cutaneous defense against Enterococcus faecium". PLOS One. 4 (7): e6424. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006424. PMC . PMID 19641608.
- Huang YC, Lin YM, Chang TW, Wu SJ, Lee YS, Chang MD, Chen C, Wu SH, Liao YD (February 2007). "The flexible and clustered lysine residues of human ribonuclease 7 are critical for membrane permeability and antimicrobial activity". The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 282 (7): 4626–33. doi:10.1074/jbc.M607321200. PMID 17150966.
- Rosenberg HF (May 2008). "RNase A ribonucleases and host defense: an evolving story". Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 83 (5): 1079–87. doi:10.1189/jlb.1107725. PMC . PMID 18211964.
- D'Alessio G and Riordan JF, eds. (1997) Ribonucleases: Structures and Functions, Academic Press.
- Gerdes K, Christensen SK and Lobner-Olesen A (2005). "Prokaryotic toxin-antitoxin stress response loci". Nat. Rev. Microbiol. (3) 371–382.
This tab holds the annotation information that is stored in the Pfam database. As we move to using Wikipedia as our main source of annotation, the contents of this tab will be gradually replaced by the Wikipedia tab.
ribonuclease Provide feedback
This enzyme hydrolyses RNA and oligoribonucleotides.
External database links
This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR000026
This entry includes ribonuclease N1 (RNase N1), a guanine-specific ribonuclease from fungi [PUBMED:2977130], and its related RNases from bacteria, RNase T1 and Sa.
Streptomyces aureofaciens Sa hydrolyses the phosphodiester bonds in RNA and oligoribonucleotides [PUBMED:8110767], resulting in 3'-nucleoside monophosphates via 2',3'-cyclophosphate intermediates.
The mapping between Pfam and Gene Ontology is provided by InterPro. If you use this data please cite InterPro.
|Molecular function||endoribonuclease activity (GO:0004521)|
|RNA binding (GO:0003723)|
Below is a listing of the unique domain organisations or architectures in which this domain is found. More...
The graphic that is shown by default represents the longest sequence with a given architecture. Each row contains the following information:
- the number of sequences which exhibit this architecture
a textual description of the architecture, e.g. Gla, EGF x 2, Trypsin.
This example describes an architecture with one
Gladomain, followed by two consecutive
EGFdomains, and finally a single
- a link to the page in the Pfam site showing information about the sequence that the graphic describes
- the UniProt description of the protein sequence
- the number of residues in the sequence
- the Pfam graphic itself.
Note that you can see the family page for a particular domain by clicking on the graphic. You can also choose to see all sequences which have a given architecture by clicking on the Show link in each row.
Finally, because some families can be found in a very large number of architectures, we load only the first fifty architectures by default. If you want to see more architectures, click the button at the bottom of the page to load the next set.
Loading domain graphics...
We store a range of different sequence alignments for families. As well as the seed alignment from which the family is built, we provide the full alignment, generated by searching the sequence database (reference proteomes) using the family HMM. We also generate alignments using four representative proteomes (RP) sets, the UniProtKB sequence database, the NCBI sequence database, and our metagenomics sequence database. More...
There are various ways to view or download the sequence alignments that we store. We provide several sequence viewers and a plain-text Stockholm-format file for download.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family:
- the curated alignment from which the HMM for the family is built
- the alignment generated by searching the sequence database using the HMM
- Representative Proteomes (RPs) at 15%, 35%, 55% and 75% co-membership thresholds
- alignment generated by searching the UniProtKB sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the NCBI sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
You can see the alignments as HTML or in three different sequence viewers:
- a Java applet developed at the University of Dundee. You will need Java installed before running jalview
- an HTML page showing the whole alignment.Please note: full Pfam alignments can be very large. These HTML views are extremely large and often cause problems for browsers. Please use either jalview or the Pfam viewer if you have trouble viewing the HTML version
- an HTML-based representation of the alignment, coloured according to the posterior-probability (PP) values from the HMM. As for the standard HTML view, heatmap alignments can also be very large and slow to render.
You can download (or view in your browser) a text representation of a Pfam alignment in various formats:
You can also change the order in which sequences are listed in the alignment, change how insertions are represented, alter the characters that are used to represent gaps in sequences and, finally, choose whether to download the alignment or to view it in your browser directly.
You may find that large alignments cause problems for the viewers and the reformatting tool, so we also provide all alignments in Stockholm format. You can download either the plain text alignment, or a gzipped version of it.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family. You can see a description of each above. You can view these alignments in various ways but please note that some types of alignment are never generated while others may not be available for all families, most commonly because the alignments are too large to handle.
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
We make all of our alignments available in Stockholm format. You can download them here as raw, plain text files or as gzip-compressed files.
You can also download a FASTA format file containing the full-length sequences for all sequences in the full alignment.
HMM logos is one way of visualising profile HMMs. Logos provide a quick overview of the properties of an HMM in a graphical form. You can see a more detailed description of HMM logos and find out how you can interpret them here. More...
If you find these logos useful in your own work, please consider citing the following article:
This page displays the phylogenetic tree for this family's seed alignment. We use FastTree to calculate neighbour join trees with a local bootstrap based on 100 resamples (shown next to the tree nodes). FastTree calculates approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees from our seed alignment.
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
This section shows the detailed information about the Pfam family. You can see the definitions of many of the terms in this section in the glossary and a fuller explanation of the scoring system that we use in the scores section of the help pages.
|Number in seed:||152|
|Number in full:||1906|
|Average length of the domain:||84.80 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||34 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||50.80 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 45638612 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||20|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
Weight segments by...
Change the size of the sunburst
selected sequences to HMM
a FASTA-format file
- 0 sequences
- 0 species
This visualisation provides a simple graphical representation of the distribution of this family across species. You can find the original interactive tree in the More....
This chart is a modified "sunburst" visualisation of the species tree for this family. It shows each node in the tree as a separate arc, arranged radially with the superkingdoms at the centre and the species arrayed around the outermost ring.
How the sunburst is generated
The tree is built by considering the taxonomic lineage of each sequence that has a match to this family. For each node in the resulting tree, we draw an arc in the sunburst. The radius of the arc, its distance from the root node at the centre of the sunburst, shows the taxonomic level ("superkingdom", "kingdom", etc). The length of the arc represents either the number of sequences represented at a given level, or the number of species that are found beneath the node in the tree. The weighting scheme can be changed using the sunburst controls.
In order to reduce the complexity of the representation, we reduce the number of taxonomic levels that we show. We consider only the following eight major taxonomic levels:
Colouring and labels
Segments of the tree are coloured approximately according to their superkingdom. For example, archeal branches are coloured with shades of orange, eukaryotes in shades of purple, etc. The colour assignments are shown under the sunburst controls. Where space allows, the name of the taxonomic level will be written on the arc itself.
As you move your mouse across the sunburst, the current node will be highlighted. In the top section of the controls panel we show a summary of the lineage of the currently highlighed node. If you pause over an arc, a tooltip will be shown, giving the name of the taxonomic level in the title and a summary of the number of sequences and species below that node in the tree.
Anomalies in the taxonomy tree
There are some situations that the sunburst tree cannot easily handle and for which we have work-arounds in place.
Missing taxonomic levels
Some species in the taxonomic tree may not have one or more of the main eight levels that we display. For example, Bos taurus is not assigned an order in the NCBI taxonomic tree. In such cases we mark the omitted level with, for example, "No order", in both the tooltip and the lineage summary.
Unmapped species names
The tree is built by looking at each sequence in the full alignment for the family. We take the name of the species given by UniProt and try to map that to the full taxonomic tree from NCBI. In some cases, the name chosen by UniProt does not map to any node in the NCBI tree, perhaps because the chosen name is listed as a synonym or a misspelling in the NCBI taxonomy.
So that these nodes are not simply omitted from the sunburst tree, we group them together in a separate branch (or segment of the sunburst tree). Since we cannot determine the lineage for these unmapped species, we show all levels between the superkingdom and the species as "uncategorised".
Since we reduce the species tree to only the eight main taxonomic levels, sequences that are mapped to the sub-species level in the tree would not normally be shown. Rather than leave out these species, we map them instead to their parent species. So, for example, for sequences belonging to one of the Vibrio cholerae sub-species in the NCBI taxonomy, we show them instead as belonging to the species Vibrio cholerae.
Too many species/sequences
For large species trees, you may see blank regions in the outer layers of the sunburst. These occur when there are large numbers of arcs to be drawn in a small space. If an arc is less than approximately one pixel wide, it will not be drawn and the space will be left blank. You may still be able to get some information about the species in that region by moving your mouse across the area, but since each arc will be very small, it will be difficult to accurately locate a particular species.
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
We show the species tree in one of two ways. For smaller trees we try to show an interactive representation, which allows you to select specific nodes in the tree and view them as an alignment or as a set of Pfam domain graphics.
Unfortunately we have found that there are problems viewing the interactive tree when the it becomes larger than a certain limit. Furthermore, we have found that Internet Explorer can become unresponsive when viewing some trees, regardless of their size. We therefore show a text representation of the species tree when the size is above a certain limit or if you are using Internet Explorer to view the site.
If you are using IE you can still load the interactive tree by clicking the "Generate interactive tree" button, but please be aware of the potential problems that the interactive species tree can cause.
For all of the domain matches in a full alignment, we count the number that are found on all sequences in the alignment. This total is shown in the purple box.
We also count the number of unique sequences on which each domain is found, which is shown in green. Note that a domain may appear multiple times on the same sequence, leading to the difference between these two numbers.
Finally, we group sequences from the same organism according to the NCBI code that is assigned by UniProt, allowing us to count the number of distinct sequences on which the domain is found. This value is shown in the pink boxes.
We use the NCBI species tree to group organisms according to their taxonomy and this forms the structure of the displayed tree. Note that in some cases the trees are too large (have too many nodes) to allow us to build an interactive tree, but in most cases you can still view the tree in a plain text, non-interactive representation. Those species which are represented in the seed alignment for this domain are highlighted.
You can use the tree controls to manipulate how the interactive tree is displayed:
- show/hide the summary boxes
- highlight species that are represented in the seed alignment
- expand/collapse the tree or expand it to a given depth
- select a sub-tree or a set of species within the tree and view them graphically or as an alignment
- save a plain text representation of the tree
Please note: for large trees this can take some time. While the tree is loading, you can safely switch away from this tab but if you browse away from the family page entirely, the tree will not be loaded.
There are 5 interactions for this family. More...
We determine these interactions using iPfam, which considers the interactions between residues in three-dimensional protein structures and maps those interactions back to Pfam families. You can find more information about the iPfam algorithm in the journal article that accompanies the website.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the Ribonuclease domain has been found. There are 346 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein sequence.
Loading structure mapping...