The conserved pre-mRNA splicing factor U2AF from Drosophila: requirement for viability

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Science  22 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5133, pp. 569-573
DOI: 10.1126/science.7692602


The large subunit of the human pre-messenger RNA splicing factor U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein auxiliary factor (hU2AF65) is required for spliceosome assembly in vitro. A complementary DNA clone encoding the large subunit of Drosophila U2AF (dU2AF50) has been isolated. The dU2AF50 protein is closely related to its mammalian counterpart and contains three carboxyl-terminal ribonucleoprotein consensus sequence RNA binding domains and an amino-terminal arginine- and serine-rich (R/S) domain. Recombinant dU2AF50 protein complements mammalian splicing extracts depleted of U2AF activity. Germline transformation of Drosophila with the dU2AF50 complementary DNA rescues a lethal mutation, establishing that the dU2AF50 gene is essential for viability. R/S domains have been found in numerous metazoan splicing factors, but their function is unknown. The mutation in Drosophila U2AF will allow in vivo analysis of a conserved R/S domain-containing general splicing factor.

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