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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Jun;14(3):305-12.

The SMN complex, an assemblyosome of ribonucleoproteins.

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


Spinal muscular atrophy is a common, often lethal, neurodegenerative disease that results from low levels of, or loss-of-function mutations in, the SMN (survival of motor neurons) protein. SMN oligomerizes and forms a stable complex with five additional proteins: Gemins 2-6. SMN also interacts with several additional proteins referred to as "substrates". Most of these substrates contain a domain enriched in arginine and glycine residues (the RG-rich domain), and are constituents of different ribonucleoprotein complexes. Recent studies revealed that the substrates can be modified by an arginine methyltransferase complex, the methylosome. This forms symmetrical dimethylarginines within the RG-rich domains of the substrates, thereby converting them to high-affinity binders of the SMN complex, and most likely providing regulation of the ribonucleoprotein assembly processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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