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EMBO J. 1993 Jul;12(7):2921-8.

A novel small nucleolar RNA (U16) is encoded inside a ribosomal protein intron and originates by processing of the pre-mRNA.

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  • 1Centro Acidi Nucleici of CNR, Universit√† La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.


We report that the third intron of the L1 ribosomal protein gene of Xenopus laevis encodes a previously uncharacterized small nucleolar RNA that we called U16. This snRNA is not independently transcribed; instead it originates by processing of the pre-mRNA in which it is contained. Its sequence, localization and biosynthesis are phylogenetically conserved: in the corresponding intron of the human L1 ribosomal protein gene a highly homologous region is found which can be released from the pre-mRNA by a mechanism similar to that described for the amphibian U16 RNA. The presence of a snoRNA inside an intron of the L1 ribosomal protein gene and the phylogenetic conservation of this gene arrangement suggest an important regulatory/functional link between these two components.

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