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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 Jun;14(6):3623-33.

Commitment of yeast pre-mRNA to the splicing pathway requires a novel U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide, Prp39p.

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  • 1T. H. Morgan School of Biological Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40506-0225.


The binding of a U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particle to the 5' splice site region of a pre-mRNA is a primary step of intron recognition. In this report, we identify a novel 75-kDa polypeptide of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Prp39p, necessary for the stable interaction of mRNA precursors with the snRNP components of the pre-mRNA splicing machinery. In vivo, temperature inactivation or metabolic depletion of Prp39p blocks pre-mRNA splicing and causes growth arrest. Analyses of cell extracts reveal a specific and dramatic increase in the electrophoretic mobility of the U1 snRNP particle upon Prp39p depletion and demonstrate that extracts deficient in Prp39p activity are unable to form either the CC1 or CC2 commitment complex band characteristic of productive U1 snRNP/pre-mRNA association. Immunological studies establish that Prp39p is uniquely associated with the U1 snRNP and is recruited with the U1 snRNP into splicing complexes. On the basis of these and related observations, we propose that Prp39p functions, at least in part, prior to stable branch point recognition by the U1 snRNP particle to facilitate or stabilize the U1 snRNP/5' splice site interaction.

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