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J Biol Chem. 2002 Mar 1;277(9):7540-5. Epub 2001 Dec 17.

Purification of native survival of motor neurons complexes and identification of Gemin6 as a novel component.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6148, USA.


The survival of motor neurons (SMN) protein, the product of the gene responsible for the motor neuron degenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), is part of a large macromolecular complex. The SMN complex is localized in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus and contains SMN, Gemin2, Gemin3, Gemin4, Gemin5, and a few not yet identified proteins. The SMN complex plays a key role in the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and other ribonucleoprotein particles. As a step toward the complete characterization of the components of the SMN complex, we generated stable cell lines that express FLAG-tagged SMN or Gemin2 under the control of a tetracycline-inducible promoter. Native SMN complexes of identical protein composition to those isolated by immunoprecipitation with anti-SMN antibodies were purified by affinity chromatography from extracts of both cell lines. Here we report the identification by mass spectrometry of a novel protein component of the SMN complex termed Gemin6. Co-immunoprecipitation, immunolocalization, and in vitro binding experiments demonstrate that Gemin6 is a component of the SMN complex that localizes to gems and interacts with several Sm proteins of the spliceosomal snRNPs.

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