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Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Feb 25;15(4):1387-99.

Assembly of pre-mRNA splicing complex is cap dependent.


To study the influence of the ubiquitous cap structure of nuclear pre-mRNAs on the assembly of a functional splicing complex, the in vitro splicing of a truncated human metallothionein pre-mRNA was examined in the presence of the cap analogue m7GTP. Significant inhibition of splicing was observed at a concentration as low as 5 microM m7GTP. Analysis of the splicing reaction on glycerol density gradients showed two complexes sedimenting at 45S and 22S. When the reaction was carried out in presence of m7GTP a marked decrease of the material sedimenting at 45S, representing the active splicing complex, was observed. When capped pre-mRNA was replaced by uncapped pre-mRNA, complex formation was significantly reduced. These data indicate that the cap structure plays an important yet unknown role in the assembly of spliceosomes.

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