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Mol Cell. 2002 Jan;9(1):31-44.

Composition and functional characterization of the yeast spliceosomal penta-snRNP.

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California Institute of Technology, Division of Biology 147-75, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


Pre-mRNA introns are spliced in a macromolecular machine, the spliceosome. For each round of splicing, the spliceosome assembles de novo in a series of ATP-dependent steps involving numerous changes in RNA-RNA and RNA-protein interactions. As currently understood, spliceosome assembly proceeds by addition of discrete U1, U2, and U4/U6*U5 snRNPs to a pre-mRNA substrate to form functional splicing complexes. We characterized a 45S yeast penta-snRNP which contains all five spliceosomal snRNAs and over 60 pre-mRNA splicing factors. The particle is functional in extracts and, when supplied with soluble factors, is capable of splicing pre-mRNA. We propose that the spliceosomal snRNPs associate prior to binding of a pre-mRNA substrate rather than with pre-mRNA via stepwise addition of discrete snRNPs.

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