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Genes Dev. 2007 May 1;21(9):1086-97.

Inhibition of U snRNP assembly by a virus-encoded proteinase.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


It has been proposed that defects in the assembly of spliceosomal uridine-rich small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U snRNP) complexes could account for the death of motor neurons in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We discovered that infection of cultured cells with poliovirus results in the specific cleavage of the host factor Gemin3 by a virus-encoded proteinase, 2A(pro). Gemin3 is a component of the macromolecular SMN complex that mediates assembly of U snRNP complexes by aiding the heptameric oligomerization of Sm proteins onto U snRNAs. Using in vitro Sm core assembly assays, we found that lowering the intracellular amounts of Gemin3 by either poliovirus infection or small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of Gemin3 resulted in reduced assembly of U snRNPs. Immunofluorescence analyses revealed a specific redistribution of Sm proteins from the nucleoplasm to the cytoplasmic periphery of the nucleus in poliovirus-infected cells. We propose that defects in U snRNP assembly may be shared features of SMA and poliomyelitis.

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