News of the WeekBiology

RNA-Splicing Machinery Revealed

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Science  11 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5383, pp. 1581-1582
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5383.1581a

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A European group has paired a new high-speed technique for analyzing proteins with a database of partial gene sequences to identify 44 components of the human spliceosome. Researchers had previously identified only about half of the proteins in the spliceosome, a multiprotein machine that splices the noncoding sequences out of newly minted RNAs to produce messenger RNAs, the cell's templates for protein production. The feat also provided additional proof of the worth of the database of human gene fragments called "expressed sequence tags," which some genome experts once dismissed as a poor substitute for the complete gene sequences to come from the Human Genome Project.