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Nat Struct Biol. 2002 Aug;9(8):576-81.

Early organization of pre-mRNA during spliceosome assembly.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H7, Canada.


Intron excision from precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) in eukaryotes requires juxtaposition of reactive functionalities within the substrate at the heart of the spliceosome where the two chemical steps of splicing occur. Although a series of interactions between pre-mRNAs, pre-spliceosomal and spliceosomal factors is well established, the molecular mechanisms of splicing machinery assembly, as well as the temporal basis for organization of the substrate for splicing, remain poorly understood. Here we have used a directed hydroxyl radical probe tethered to pre-mRNA substrates to map the structure of the pre-mRNA substrate during the spliceosome assembly process. These studies indicate an early organization and proximation of conserved pre-mRNA sequences during spliceosome assembly/recruitment and suggest a mechanism for the formation of the final active site of the mature spliceosome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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