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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Jun;23(12):4174-86.

Spatial organization of protein-RNA interactions in the branch site-3' splice site region during pre-mRNA splicing in yeast.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Center for RNA Molecular Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


A series of efficiently spliced pre-mRNA substrates containing single 4-thiouridine residues were used to monitor RNA-protein interactions involving the branch site-3' splice site-3' exon region during yeast pre-mRNA splicing through cross-linking analysis. Prior to the assembly of the prespliceosome, Mud2p and the branch point bridging protein cross-link to a portion of this region in an ATP-independent fashion. Assembly of the prespliceosome leads to extensive cross-linking of the U2-associated protein Hsh155p to this region. Following the first step of splicing and in a manner independent of Prp16p, the U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle-associated protein Prp8p also associates extensively with the branch site-3' splice site-3' exon region. The subsequent cross-linking of Prp16p to the lariat intermediate is restricted to the 3' splice site and the adjacent 3' exon sequence. Using modified substrates to either mutationally or chemically block the second step, we found that the association of Prp22p with the lariat intermediate represents an authentic transient intermediate and appears to be restricted to the last eight intron nucleotides. Completion of the second step leads to the cross-linking of an unidentified approximately 80-kDa protein near the branch site sequence, suggesting a potential role for this protein in a later step in intron metabolism. Taken together, these data provide a detailed portrayal of the dynamic associations of proteins with the branch site-3' splice site region during spliceosome assembly and catalysis.

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