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EMBO J March 1, 1993; 12 (3): 1229-38.

The low abundance of U7 snRNA is partly determined by its Sm binding site.

Grimm C , Stefanovic B , Schümperli D .

In transient expression studies after DNA transfection of HeLa cells, the mouse U7 gene produces only approximately 30% of the RNA produced by a mouse U1b gene. This difference persists even when the transfected genes have all their 5'' and 3'' flanking sequences exchanged suggesting a post-transcriptional effect. When the special U7 Sm binding site is mutated to a consensus derived from the major snRNAs (Sm-opt), the U7 RNA level increases 4- to 5-fold, whereas no RNA is detected from a U7 gene with a non-functional Sm binding site (Sm-mut). Moreover, U1b genes with the U7 Sm binding site yield reduced RNA levels. The Sm-opt site also alters the cellular behaviour of the corresponding U7 snRNA. It accumulates to a higher level in the nucleus than wild type U7 RNA, and is better immunoprecipitable with anti-Sm antibodies. Injection experiments in Xenopus oocytes indicate that the U7 genes with either Sm-opt or Sm-mut sites produce similar amounts of RNA as wild type U7, but that they differ in opposing ways in the processing of precursors to mature size U7 snRNA and in nuclear accumulation. However, in reconstitution experiments using Xenopus oocytes, we show that U7 Sm-opt RNA, despite its efficient nuclear accumulation, is not active in 3'' processing of histone pre-mRNA, whereas wild type U7 RNA is assembled into functional snRNPs, which correctly process histone pre-mRNA substrate. This suggests a functional importance of the special U7 Sm sequence.

PubMed ID: 8458335
PMC ID: PMC413326
Article link:

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: mmut

References [+] :
Ach, The highly conserved U small nuclear RNA 3'-end formation signal is quite tolerant to mutation. 1987, Pubmed, Xenbase