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RNA. 2006 Mar;12(3):375-86. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Dissection of Prp8 protein defines multiple interactions with crucial RNA sequences in the catalytic core of the spliceosome.

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  • 1MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


Current models of the core of the spliceosome include a network of RNA-RNA interactions involving the pre-mRNA and the U2, U5, and U6 snRNAs. The essential spliceosomal protein Prp8 interacts with U5 and U6 snRNAs and with specific pre-mRNA sequences that participate in catalysis. This close association with crucial RNA sequences, together with extensive genetic evidence, suggests that Prp8 could directly affect the function of the catalytic core, perhaps acting as a splicing cofactor. However, the sequence of Prp8 is almost entirely novel, and it offers few clues to the molecular basis of Prp8-RNA interactions. We have used an innovative transposon-based strategy to establish that catalytic core RNAs make multiple contacts in the central region of Prp8, underscoring the intimate relationship between this protein and the catalytic center of the spliceosome. Our analysis of RNA interactions identifies a discrete, highly conserved region of Prp8 as a prime candidate for the role of cofactor for the spliceosome's RNA core.

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