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EMBO J. 2001 Aug 15;20(16):4536-46.

A novel U2 and U11/U12 snRNP protein that associates with the pre-mRNA branch site.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, D-37077 Göttingen, EMBL, Protein and Peptide Group, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


Previous UV cross-linking studies demonstrated that, upon integration of the U2 snRNP into the spliceosome, a 14 kDa protein (p14) interacts directly with the branch adenosine, the nucleophile for the first transesterification step of splicing. We have identified the cDNA encoding this protein by microsequencing a 14 kDa protein isolated from U2-type spliceosomes. This protein contains an RNA recognition motif and is highly conserved across species. Antibodies raised against this cDNA-encoded protein precipitated the 14 kDa protein cross-linked to the branch adenosine, confirming the identity of the p14 cDNA. A combination of immunoblotting, protein microsequencing and immunoprecipitation revealed that p14 is a component of both 17S U2 and 18S U11/U12 snRNPs, suggesting that it contributes to the interaction of these snRNPs with the branch sites of U2- and U12-type pre-mRNAs, respectively. p14 was also shown to be a subunit of the heteromeric splicing factor SF3b and to interact directly with SF3b155. Immuno precipitations indicated that p14 is present in U12-type spliceosomes, consistent with the idea that branch point selection is similar in the major and minor spliceosomes.

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