•Small self-cleaving ribozymes are essential for rolling-circle-based replication of satellite and pathogenic RNAs.•Structure–function research on active site alignments and catalytic mechanisms of the Rbz hammerhead ribozyme is described.•Pre-catalytic conformations of newly-identified pistol, twister and twister–sister ribozymes are described.•There is currently a divergence of views as to the cleavage site alignments and catalytic mechanisms adopted by twister and twister–sister ribozymes.
Current Opinion in Chemical Biology – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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