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J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2002 Apr;19(5):853-62.

The structure and dynamics of the U4/U6 snRNP: implications for pre-mRNA splicing and use as a model system to investigate the RNA-mediated effects of (5F)Ura.

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Department of Biochemistry,Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Pre-mRNA splicing is one of the most complex and intricate processes in eukaryotic cell biology. Over the past decade, my laboratory has been interested in determining the structures of RNA components of the spliceosome, and in investigating how the structure, stability and dynamics of these RNA components are perturbed by nucleoside analog substitution. In particular, we have investigated the U4/U6 snRNA complex as a model system for understanding the biophysical basis for the RNA-mediated effects of the widely-used anticancer drug 5-fluorouracil ((5F)Ura). In this review, our studies that have provided novel information concerning the structure of U4 snRNA and its interactions with U6 snRNA and the Sm (or common) snRNA binding proteins are summarized. These studies have also quantified the structural and thermodynamic consequences of (5F)Ura in this model system. Our work to date provides the foundation on which future studies investigating the biophysical basis for spliceosomal assembly and for clarifying the mechanisms of anticancer drugs targeted at nucleic acid-mediated processes will be developed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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