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EMBO J. 1992 Jan;11(1):335-43.

Roles of U4 and U6 snRNAs in the assembly of splicing complexes.

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EMBL, Heidelberg, FRG.


A series of U4 and U6 snRNA mutants was analysed in Xenopus oocytes to determine whether they block splicing complex assembly or splicing itself. All the U4 and U6 mutants found to be inactive in splicing complementation resulted in defects in assembly of either U4/U6 snRNP or of splicing complexes. No mutants were found to separate the entry of U5 and U6 snRNAs into splicing complexes and neither of these RNAs was able to associate with the pre-mRNA in the absence of U4. In the absence of U6 snRNA, however, U4 entered a complex containing pre-mRNA as well as the U1 and U2 snRNAs. U6 nucleotides whose mutation resulted in specific blockage of the second step of splicing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae are shown not to be essential for splicing in the oocyte assay. The results are discussed in terms of the roles of U4 and U6 in the assembly and catalytic steps of the splicing process.

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