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Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 Mar 25;16(5):2127-48.

Nucleotide sequence determination and secondary structure of Xenopus U3 snRNA.

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Brown University, Division of Biology and Medicine, Providence, RI 02912.


Using a combination of RNA sequencing and construction of cDNA clones followed by DNA sequencing, we have determined the primary nucleotide sequence of U3 snRNA in Xenopus laevis and Xenopus borealis. This molecule has a length of 219 nucleotides. Alignment of the Xenopus sequences with U3 snRNA sequences from other organisms reveals three evolutionarily conserved blocks. We have probed the secondary structure of U3 snRNA in intact Xenopus laevis nuclei using single-strand specific chemical reagents; primer extension was used to map the positions of chemical modification. The three blocks of conserved sequences fall within single-stranded regions, and are therefore accessible for interaction with other molecules. Models of U3 snRNA function are discussed in light of these data.

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