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Release of SF3 from the intron branchpoint activates the first step of pre-mRNA splicing.

RNA (New York, N.Y.) | Mar 22, 2010

Eukaryotic pre-mRNA splicing is a complex process requiring the precise timing and action of >100 trans-acting factors. It has been known for some time that the two steps of splicing chemistry require three DEAH-box RNA helicase-like proteins; however, their mechanism of action at these steps has remained elusive. Spliceosomes arrested in vivo at the three helicase checkpoints were purified, and first step-arrested spliceosomes were functionally characterized. We show that the first step of splicing requires a novel ATP-independent conformational change. Prp2p then catalyzes an ATP-dependent rearrangement displacing the SF3a and SF3b complexes from the branchpoint within the spliceosome. We propose a model in which SF3 prevents premature nucleophilic attack of the chemically reactive hydroxyl of the branchpoint adenosine prior to the first transesterification. When the spliceosome attains the proper conformation and upon the function of Prp2p, SF3 is displaced from the branchpoint allowing first step chemistry to occur.

Pubmed ID: 20089683 RIS Download

Mesh terms: DEAD-box RNA Helicases | Hydroxides | Introns | Models, Chemical | RNA Precursors | RNA Splicing | Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear | Saccharomyces cerevisiae | Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins | Spliceosomes

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Associated grants

  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: P41 RR011823
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM084246
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM084246

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