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J Mol Biol. 1999 May 14;288(4):585-94.

Binding of U1A protein to the 3' untranslated region of its pre-mRNA.

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Department of Biochemistry, The University of Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4HN, UK.


We have studied the global structure of the U1A 3' untranslated region (UTR) element using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Comparison of a single UTR-box with a series of oligoadenine bulges indicates that the UTR-box introduces a significant kink into the axis of the RNA, and quantification of the results suggests an included bend angle of approximately 100 degrees (i.e. 80 degrees from linear). The complete 3'-UTR element is also severely kinked by the two UTR-boxes. We can observe binding of U1A protein to the 3'-UTR element by a change in the fluorescence anisotropy of Cy3 attached to one of the helical ends. In parallel with the binding, we observe a marked increase in fluoresence resonance energy transfer efficiency between fluorophores attached at the two 5' termini, indicating a significant change in global conformation induced by the binding of the protein.

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