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RNA. 2017 Dec;23(12):1770-1779. doi: 10.1261/rna.063115.117. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Yeast Prp2 liberates the 5' splice site and the branch site adenosine for catalysis of pre-mRNA splicing.

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Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Research Group Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
Institute for Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, Georg-August-University, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.


The RNA helicase Prp2 facilitates the remodeling of the spliceosomal Bact complex to the catalytically activated B* complex just before step one of splicing. As a high-resolution cryo-EM structure of the B* complex is currently lacking, the precise spliceosome remodeling events mediated by Prp2 remain poorly understood. To investigate the latter, we used chemical structure probing to compare the RNA structure of purified yeast Bact and B* complexes. Our studies reveal deviations from conventional RNA helices in the functionally important U6 snRNA internal stem-loop and U2/U6 helix Ib in the activated Bact complex, and to a lesser extent in B*. Interestingly, the N7 of U6-G60 of the catalytic triad becomes accessible to DMS modification in the B* complex, suggesting that the Hoogsteen interaction with U6-A52 is destabilized in B*. Our data show that Prp2 action does not unwind double-stranded RNA, but enhances the flexibility of the first step reactants, the pre-mRNA's 5' splice site and branch site adenosine. Prp2 therefore appears to act primarily as an RNPase to achieve catalytic activation by liberating the first step reactants in preparation for catalysis of the first step of splicing.


Prp2 RNA helicase; RNA structure; activated spliceosome; catalytic activation

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