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Biochemistry. 2006 Aug 22;45(33):10092-101.

The SF3b155 N-terminal domain is a scaffold important for splicing.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403, USA.


Recruitment of U2 snRNP to the branch point sequence of introns is a necessary step in pre-mRNA splicing. In the current model, U2AF65, bound at the polypyrimidine tract of the intron, recruits U2 snRNP to the branch point sequence by interacting with the U2 snRNP protein SF3b155. We demonstrate that the N-terminal domain of SF3b155 contains multiple U2AF65 binding sites that are distinct from the binding site for the U2 snRNP protein p14, mapped to amino acids 396-424 of SF3b155. The N-terminal domain of SF3b155 appears to adopt a primarily unfolded structure but is functional to inhibit splicing in vitro. RNA binding studies show that the N-terminal domain of SF3b155 binds RNA nonspecifically and that the sites for U2AF65 binding and RNA binding are overlapping (or the same) within SF3b155. We propose that the N-terminal domain of SF3b155 adopts a primarily unfolded structure that functions as a scaffold to facilitate SF3b155's multiple protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions. The multiple U2AF65 binding sites on SF3b155 suggest a model in which multiple U2AF65 molecules bound to the intron could enhance U2 snRNP recruitment to the branch point sequence.

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