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Cell. 1989 Aug 11;58(3):473-83.

The AU-rich sequences present in the introns of plant nuclear pre-mRNAs are required for splicing.

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Friedrich Miescher-Institut, Basel, Switzerland.


Plant cells do not in general process the introns of transcripts expressed from introduced vertebrate genes. By studying the processing of model introns in transfected plant protoplasts, we have investigated the special requirements for intron recognition by plant cells. Our results indicate that the requirements for intron recognition in plants are different from those of both metazoa and yeast. A synthetic intron of arbitrary sequence but incorporating splice site consensus sequences and a high proportion of U and A nucleotides, a characteristic feature of plant introns, was efficiently spliced in protoplasts. We have studied the effects of various sequence alterations and conclude that AU-rich sequences are necessary for intron recognition. In addition, we find that the criteria for branch site selection are relaxed, as they are in vertebrates, but a polypyrimidine tract is not necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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