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Genetics. 2001 May;158(1):187-96.

Multiple functional interactions between components of the Lsm2-Lsm8 complex, U6 snRNA, and the yeast La protein.

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Department of Cell Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06536, USA.


The U6 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein is a critical component of the eukaryotic spliceosome. The first protein that binds the U6 snRNA is the La protein, an abundant phosphoprotein that binds the 3' end of many nascent small RNAs. A complex of seven Sm-like proteins, Lsm2-Lsm8, also binds the 3' end of U6 snRNA. A mutation within the Sm motif of Lsm8p causes Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells to require the La protein Lhp1p to stabilize nascent U6 snRNA. Here we describe functional interactions between Lhp1p, the Lsm proteins, and U6 snRNA. LSM2 and LSM4, but not other LSM genes, act as allele-specific, low-copy suppressors of mutations in Lsm8p. Overexpression of LSM2 in the lsm8 mutant strain increases the levels of both Lsm8p and U6 snRNPs. In the presence of extra U6 snRNA genes, LSM8 becomes dispensable for growth, suggesting that the only essential function of LSM8 is in U6 RNA biogenesis or function. Furthermore, deletions of LSM5, LSM6, or LSM7 cause LHP1 to become required for growth. Our experiments are consistent with a model in which Lsm2p and Lsm4p contact Lsm8p in the Lsm2-Lsm8 ring and suggest that Lhp1p acts redundantly with the entire Lsm2-Lsm8 complex to stabilize nascent U6 snRNA.

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