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EMBO J. 1988 Aug;7(8):2523-32.

Antisense RNA inhibits splicing of pre-mRNA in vitro.

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Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NY 11724.


Antisense RNAs complementary to human beta-globin pre-mRNA or to a chimeric globin/adenovirus E2a pre-mRNA specifically and efficiently inhibit pre-mRNA splicing in vitro. The level of inhibition depends on the length, position and concentration of the antisense RNA relative to the pre-mRNA substrate. Antisense RNAs complementary to sequences greater than 80 nucleotides downstream of the globin 3' splice site inhibit at least as efficiently as those extending across the splice sites. Thus splicing is sensitive to perturbations involving exon sequences some distance from the splice sites. Inhibition is mediated by factors which affect the annealing of antisense and substrate RNAs. Direct analysis of RNA duplex formation demonstrates the presence of an activity in HeLa cell nuclear extract which promotes the rapid annealing of complementary RNAs in an ATP-independent manner. Both annealing and inhibition are greatly reduced when antisense RNA is added to the splicing reaction greater than or equal to 5 min after substrate. This result may reflect a transition between an open structure, in which annealing of antisense RNA with pre-mRNA is facilitated, and a closed complex in which pre-mRNA is sequestered at an early stage of spliceosome assembly.

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