Yazbeck, AM; Tout, KR; Stadler, PF

The 7SK RNA is a small nuclear RNA that is involved in the regulation of Pol-II transcription. It is very well conserved in vertebrates, but shows extensive variations in both sequence and structure across invertebrates. A systematic homology search extended the collection of 7SK genes in both Arthropods and Lophotrochozoa making use of the large number of recently published invertebrate genomes. The extended data set made it possible to infer complete consensus structures for invertebrate 7SK RNAs. These show that not only the well-conserved 5- and 3- domains but all the interior Stem A domain is universally conserved. In contrast, Stem B region exhibits substantial structural variation and does not adhere to a common structural model beyond phylum level.