Cloning and intracellular localization of the U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein auxiliary factor small subunit.
U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein auxiliary factor (U2AF), an essential mammalian splicing factor, is composed of two subunits: a 65-kDa protein (U2AF65), which binds the pre-mRNA polypyrimidine tract and is required for in vitro splicing, and an associated 35-kDa protein (U2AF35). Here we report the isolation of a cDNA encoding U2AF35. U2AF35 contains sequence motifs found in several mammalian pre-mRNA splicing factors. We show directly that U2AF65 and U2AF35 interact with each other and delineate the regions of both proteins that mediate this interaction. Using anti-peptide antibodies against U2AF35, we show that the protein has the intracellular distribution characteristic of U2AF65. Both U2AF65 and U2AF35 are concentrated in a small number of nuclear foci corresponding to coiled bodies, subnuclear organelles first identified by light microscopy in 1903.