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Cell. 1986 Oct 10;47(1):49-59.

U2 RNA from yeast is unexpectedly large and contains homology to vertebrate U4, U5, and U6 small nuclear RNAs.


I have determined the structure of the gene from Saccharomyces cerevisiae coding for the yeast homolog of vertebrate U2 snRNA. Surprisingly, the RNA is 1175 nucleotides long, six times larger than U2 RNAs from other organisms, including Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Nearly 100 nucleotides of the large RNA share sequence homology and potential secondary structure with metazoan U2. The large RNA also contains homology to vertebrate U4, U5, and U6 snRNAs, implying a "poly-snRNP" structure for the RNP containing the large RNA. The gene LSR1, encoding the large RNA, is essential for growth, suggesting that the yeast spliceosome can be dissected using genetic approaches. The different organization of spliceosomal RNA may underlie differences in splicing between yeast and metazoans.

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