A subset of yeast snRNA's contains functional binding sites for the highly conserved Sm antigen

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Science  16 Jan 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4786, pp. 328-331
DOI: 10.1126/science.2948278


Autoimmune sera of the Sm specificity react with the major class of small nuclear RNA (snRNA)-containing ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNP's) from organisms as evolutionarily divergent as insects and dinoflagellates but have been reported not to recognize snRNP's from yeast. The Sm antigen is thought to bind to a conserved snRNA motif that includes the sequence A(U3-6)G. The hypothesis was tested that yeast also contains functional analogues of Sm snRNA's, but that the Sm binding site in the RNA is more strictly conserved than the Sm antigenic determinant. After microinjection of labeled yeast snRNA's into Xenopus eggs or oocytes, two snRNA's from Saccharomyces cerevisiae become strongly immunoprecipitable with human auto-antibodies known as anti-Sm. These each contain the sequence A(U5-6)G, are essential for viability, and are constituents of the spliceosome. At least six other yeast snRNA's do not become immunoprecipitable and lack this sequence; these non-Sm snRNA's are all dispensable.