The stem-loop binding protein (SLBP) is the posttranscriptional regulator of histone mRNA in metazoan cells. SLBP binds histone pre-mRNAs and facilitates 3'-end processing by promoting stable association of U7 snRNP with the pre-mRNA. To identify other factors involved in histone pre-mRNA processing, we used a modified yeast two-hybrid assay in which SLBP and its RNA target were coexpressed as bait. A novel zinc finger protein, hZFP100, which interacts with the SLBP/RNA complex but not with free SLBP, was cloned. The interaction requires regions of SLBP that are important for histone pre-mRNA processing. Antibodies to hZFP100 precipitate U7 snRNA, and expression of hZFP100 in Xenopus oocytes stimulates processing of histone pre-mRNA, showing that hZFP100 is a component of the processing machinery.
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