The small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) in African Green Monkey kidney cells (CV-1 cells) were examined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Methodology was developed to improve their extraction from enriched fractions. Cellular fractionation studies and subsequent analysis of these RNAs indicate that they are tightly associated with chromatin. Treatment of cells with α-amanitin totally suppressed transcription of Ul, U2, U4, U5, and partially suppressed transcription of U6, suggesting that these snRNAs are transcribed by RNA polymerase II. Upon infection of the cells by simian virus 40 (SV40), overall transcription of these and other cellular RNAs was stimulated. Gel filtration and formaldehyde crosslinking studies indicated that the ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) containing snRNAs are associated with the viral minichromosome. Nucleotide sequence comparisons show extensive sequence complementarity between the 5′ end of 12 RNA, the replication origin of SV40, and a prokaryotic RNA (RNA I) that is involved in control of plasmid replication. The clustered homologies between these RNAs and the association of snRNAs with the SV40 chromosome suggest that snRNAs may be evolutionarily related to small RNAs from plasmids and are consistent with an hypothesis that U2 RNA may be involved in DNA replication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology