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Cell. 1996 Apr 5;85(1):115-24.

RNase III cleaves eukaryotic preribosomal RNA at a U3 snoRNP-dependent site.

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Biology Department, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064 ,USA.


A yeast gene homologous to bacterial RNase III (RNT1) encodes a double-strand-specific endoribonuclease essential for ribosome synthesis. Two rRNA processing events are blocked in cells temperature sensitive for RNT1: cleavage at the snoRNA-dependent AO site in the 5' ETS and cleavage in the 3' ETS. Recombinant RNT1 protein accurately cleaves a synthetic 5' ETS RNA at AO site in vitro, in the absence of snoRNA or other factors. A synthetic 3' ETS substrate is specifically cleaved at a site 21 nt downstream of the 3' end 28S rRNA. These observations show that a protein endonuclease collaborates with snoRNAs in eukaryotic rRNA processing and exclude a catalytic role for snoRNAs at certain pre-rRNA cleavage.

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