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Nucleic Acids Res. 2003 Apr 1;31(7):1877-87.

The human Imp3 and Imp4 proteins form a ternary complex with hMpp10, which only interacts with the U3 snoRNA in 60-80S ribonucleoprotein complexes.

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Department of Biochemistry, Nijmegen Center for Molecular Life Sciences, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Ribosome biogenesis requires a vast number of trans-acting factors many of which are required for the chemical modification and processing of the pre-rRNA component. The U3 snoRNP complex is required for the early cleavage steps in pre-rRNA processing. We have cloned cDNAs encoding the human and mouse homologs of the yeast U3 snoRNP-associated proteins Imp3 and Imp4. Both human proteins localize to nucleoli and interact with the U3 snoRNA. The results of complementation experiments show that, in contrast to mouse Imp4, mouse Imp3 can partially alleviate the growth defect of the corresponding yeast null strain, indicating that the role of Imp3 in pre-rRNA processing is evolutionarily conserved. The results of density gradient centrifugation experiments show that, in contrast to hU3-55K, the human Imp3 and Imp4 proteins predominantly interact with the U3 snoRNA in 60-80S ribonucleoprotein complexes. In addition, we have found that hImp3, hImp4 and hMpp10 can form a stable hetero-trimeric complex in vitro, which is generated by direct interactions of both hImp3 and hImp4 with hMpp10. The analysis of hImp3 and hImp4 mutants indicated that their binding to hMpp10 correlates with their nucleolar accumulation, strongly suggesting that the formation of the ternary complex of hImp3, hImp4 and hMpp10 is required for their association with nucleolar components.

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