EC - Ribonuclease III

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IntEnz Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name:
ribonuclease III
Other names:
ribonuclease 3
Systematic name:



This is an endoribonuclease that cleaves double-stranded RNA molecules [4]. The cleavage can be either a single-stranded nick or double-stranded break in the RNA, depending in part upon the degree of base-pairing in the region of the cleavage site [5]. Specificity is conferred by negative determinants, i.e., the presence of certain Watson-Crick base-pairs at specific positions that strongly inhibit cleavage [6]. RNase III is involved in both rRNA processing and mRNA processing and decay.

Links to other databases

Enzymes and pathways: NC-IUBMB , BRENDA , ExplorEnz , ENZYME@ExPASy , KEGG , MetaCyc , UniPathway
Protein domains and families: PROSITE:PDOC00448
Structural data: CSA , EC2PDB
Gene Ontology: GO:0004525
CAS Registry Number: 78413-14-6
UniProtKB/Swiss-Prot: (522) [show] [UniProt]


  1. Crouch, R.J.
    Ribonuclease 3 does not degrade deoxyribonucleic acid-ribonucleic acid hybrids.
    J. Biol. Chem. 249 : 1314-1316 (1974). [PMID: 4592261]
  2. Rech, J., Cathala, G. and Jeanteur, P.
    Isolation and characterization of a ribonuclease activity specific for double-stranded RNA (RNase D) from Krebs II ascites cells.
    J. Biol. Chem. 255 : 6700-6706 (1980). [PMID: 6248530]
  3. Robertson, H.D., Webster, R.E. and Zinder, N.D.
    Purification and properties of ribonuclease III from Escherichia coli.
    J. Biol. Chem. 243 : 82-91 (1968). [PMID: 4865702]
  4. Grunberg-Manago, M.
    Messenger RNA stability and its role in control of gene expression in bacteria and phages.
    Annu. Rev. Genet. 33 : 193-227 (1999). [PMID: 10690408]
  5. Court, D.
    RNA processing and degradation by RNase III in control of mRNA stability.
    In: Belasco, J.G. and Brawerman, G. (Eds.) Control of Messenger RNA Stability , Academic Press , New York , 1993 , 71-116
  6. Zhang, K. and Nicholson, A.W.
    Regulation of ribonuclease III processing by double-helical sequence antideterminants.
    Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94 : 13437-13441 (1997). [PMID: 9391043]

[EC created 1978, modified 2006]