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J Mol Biol. 1994 Jun 10;239(3):357-65.

Conserved sequences in a class of rare eukaryotic nuclear introns with non-consensus splice sites.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 75235.


Eukaryotic nuclear genomes contain a rare class of pre-mRNA introns with consensus sequence features that differ markedly from most pre-mRNA introns. Four genes have so far been identified that contain one copy each of this rare intron class in addition to several standard introns. These introns and homologous introns from several species were compared to identify conserved sequence elements and to establish consensus sequences for these elements. The only well-conserved elements are found at the 5' and 3' ends of the introns. The 5' splice site sequence is ATATCCTT beginning with the first nucleotide of the intron and is invariant in the introns examined to date. The 3' splice site consensus sequence is YCCAC ending at the last nucleotide of the intron. An almost invariant sequence of TCCTTAAC is also found near the 3' end of the intron (the 3' upstream element). The length of the introns varies between 95 and 2940 nucleotides. The sequence organization of these introns suggests that they represent a variant class of pre-mRNA introns that might be spliced via a spliceosome mechanism employing factors distinct from those used by other pre-mRNA introns. A search of small nuclear RNA (snRNA) sequences for regions complementary to the conserved elements of this rare class of introns found a strong match between U12 snRNA and the 3' upstream element and a weaker match between U11 snRNA and the 5' splice site sequence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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