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FEBS Lett. 2002 Jan 2;510(1-2):27-30.

Introns in protein-coding genes in Archaea.

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Department of Biomedical Chemistry, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


Introns in protein-coding genes are ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells, but pre-mRNA splicing has yet to be reported in archaeal and its viral genomes. We present evidence of introns in genes encoding a homolog of eukaryotic Cbf5p (centromere-binding factor 5; a subunit of a small nucleolar ribonucleoprotein) in three Archaea; Aeropyrum pernix, Sulfolobus solfataricus and Sulfolobus tokodaii. Splicing of pre-mRNAs in vivo was demonstrated by reverse transcriptase-mediated polymerase chain reaction. The exon-intron boundaries of these genes are predicted to be folded into a structure similar to the bulge-helix-bulge motif, suggesting that splicing of these pre-mRNAs probably depends on the splicing system elucidated for archaeal pre-tRNAs and rRNAs.

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