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RNA. 1997 Apr;3(4):371-81.

A novel U1/U5 interaction indicates proximity between U1 and U5 snRNAs during an early step of mRNA splicing.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8114, USA.


The five spliceosomal snRNAs (U1, U2, U4, U5, and U6) undergo an ordered sequence of conformational changes as mRNA splicing progresses. We have shown that an antisense RNA oligonucleotide complementary to U5 snRNA induces a novel U1/U4/U5 complex that may be a transitional stage in the displacement of U1 from the 5' splice site by U5. Here we identify a novel site-specific crosslink between the 5' end of U1 and the invariant loop of U5 snRNA. This crosslink can be induced in nuclear extract by an antisense oligonucleotide directed against U5 snRNA, but can also be detected during an early step of the splicing reaction in the absence of oligonucleotide. Our data indicate proximity between U1 and U5 snRNPs before the first catalytic step of splicing, and may suggest that U1 helps to direct U5 to the 5' splice site.

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