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J Mol Biol. 2005 Aug 5;351(1):52-65.

Structural basis of the interaction between P-element somatic inhibitor and U1-70k essential for the alternative splicing of P-element transposase.

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, UK.


P-element transposition in Drosophila is regulated by tissue-specific alternative splicing of the P-element transposase pre-mRNA. In somatic cells, the P-element somatic inhibitor (PSI) protein binds to exon 3 of the pre-mRNA and recruits U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) to the F1 pseudo-splice site. This abrogates binding of U1 snRNP to the genuine 5' splice site, thereby preventing excision of the third intron. Two homologous short sequences, referred to as the A and B boxes, near the C terminus of PSI bind to U1-70k protein within U1 snRNP. We have now mapped the AB box-binding site of U1-70k to a short proline-rich sequence at the C terminus. Our NMR study shows that the B box forms an anti-parallel helical hairpin in which four highly conserved aromatic residues form a cluster on one face of the first helix. This hydrophobic cluster interacts extensively with the proline-rich region of the U1-70k protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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