A Spliceosomal Recycling Factor That Reanneals U4 and U6 Small Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Particles

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Science  06 Feb 1998:
Vol. 279, Issue 5352, pp. 857-860
DOI: 10.1126/science.279.5352.857

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The spliceosome removes introns from pre–messenger RNAs by a mechanism that entails extensive remodeling of RNA structure. The most conspicuous rearrangement involves disruption of 24 base pairs between U4 and U6 small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). Here, the yeast RNA binding protein Prp24 is shown to reanneal these snRNAs. When Prp24 is absent, unpaired U4 and U6 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) accumulate; with time, splicing becomes inhibited. Addition of purified Prp24 protein regenerates duplex U4/U6 snRNPs for new rounds of splicing. The reannealing reaction catalyzed by Prp24 proceeds more efficiently with snRNPs than with deproteinized snRNAs.

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