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Mol Cell Biol. 1990 Dec;10(12):6299-305.

Effect of 5' splice site mutations on splicing of the preceding intron.

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  • 1Marrs McClean Department of Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Three exon constructs containing identical intron and exon sequences were mutated at the 5' splice site beginning intron 2 and assayed for the effect of the mutation on splicing of the upstream intron in vitro. Alteration of two or six bases within the 5' splice site reduced removal of intron 1 at least 20-fold, as determined by quantitation of either spliced product or released lariat RNA. The prominent product was skip splicing of exon 1 to exon 3. Examination of complex formation indicated that mutation of the 5' splice site terminating exon 2 depressed the ability of precursor RNAs containing just the affected exon to direct assembly in vitro. These results suggest that mutation at the end of an internal exon inhibits the ability of the exon to be recognized by splicing factors. A comparison of the known vertebrate 5' splice site mutations in which the mutation resides at the end of an internal exon indicated that exon skipping is the preferred phenotype for this type of mutation, in agreement with the in vitro observation reported here. Inhibition of splicing by mutation at the distal and of the exon supports the suggestion that exons, rather than splice sites, are the recognition units for assembly of the spliceosome.

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