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Biochem Cell Biol. 1995 Nov-Dec;73(11-12):835-43.

Novel intron-encoded small nucleolar RNAs with long sequence complementarities to mature rRNAs involved in ribosome biogenesis.

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Laboratoire de Biologic Moléculaire Eucaryote du C.N.R.S., Université Paul-Sahatier, France.


Recently, several new snoRNAs encoded in introns of genes coding for ribosomal, ribosome-associated, or nucleolar proteins have been discovered. We are presently studying four of these intronic snoRNAs. Three of them, U20, U21, and U24, are closely related to each other on a structural basis. They are included in genes encoding nucleolin and ribosomal proteins L5 and L7a, respectively, in warm-blooded vertebrates. These three metabolically stable snoRNAs interact with nucleolar protein fibrillarin. In addition, they display common features that make them strikingly related to snoRNA U14. U14 contains two tracts of complementarity to 18S rRNA, which are required for the production of 18S rRNA. U20 displays a 21 nucleotide (nt) long complementarity to 18S rRNA. U21 contains a 13 nt complementarity to an invariant sequence in eukaryotic 28S rRNA. U24 has two separate 12 nt long complementarities to a highly conserved tract of 28S rRNA. Phylogenetic evidences support the fundamental importance of the pairings of these three snoRNAs to pre-rRNA, which could be involved in a control of pre-rRNA folding during preribosome assembly. By transfection of mouse cells, we have also analyzed the processing of U20 and found that the -cis acting signals for its processing from intronic RNA are restricted to the mature snoRNA sequence. Finally, we have documented changes of host genes for these three intronic snoRNAs during the evolution of eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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