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Cell. 1984 Oct;38(3):721-9.

Identification of a small RNA containing the trypanosome spliced leader: a donor of shared 5' sequences of trypanosomatid mRNAs?


The 35 nucleotide spliced leader (SL) sequence is found on the 5' end of numerous trypanosome mRNAs, yet the tandemly organized reiteration units encoding this leader are not detectably linked to any of these structural genes. Here we report the presence of a class of discrete small SL RNA molecules that are derived from the genomic SL reiteration units of Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leptomonas collosoma. These small SL RNAs are 135, 105, and 95 nucleotides, respectively, and contain a 5'-terminal SL or SL-like sequence. S1 nuclease analyses demonstrate that these small SL RNAs are transcribed from continuous sequence within the respective SL reiteration units. With the exception of the SL sequence and a concensus donor splice site immediately following it, these small RNAs are not well conserved. We suggest that the small SL RNAs may function as a donor of the SL sequence in an intermolecular process that places the SL at the 5' terminus of many trypanosomatid mRNAs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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