Ribonucleoprotein organization of eukaryotic RNA. XXXII. U2 small nuclear RNA precursors and their accurate 3′ processing in vitro as ribonucleoprotein particles

Eric D. Wieben, Joan M. Nenninger, Thoru Pederson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biosynthetic precursors of U2 small nuclear RNA have been identified in cultured human cells by hybrid-selection of pulse-labeled RNA with cloned U2 DNA. These precursor molecules are one to approximately 16 nucleotides longer than mature U2 RNA and contain 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine "caps". The U2 RNA precursors are associated with proteins that react with a monoclonal antibody for antigens characteristic of small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles. Like previously described precursors of U1 and U4 small nuclear RNAs, the pre-U2 RNAs are recovered in cytoplasmic fractions, although it is not known if this is their location in vivo. The precursors are processed to mature-size U2 RNA when cytoplasmic extracts are incubated in vitro at 37 °C. Mg2+ is required but ATP is not. The ribonucleoprotein structure of the pre-U2 RNA is maintained during the processing reaction in vitro, as are the 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine caps. The ribonucleoprotein organization is of major importance, as exogenous, protein-free U2 RNA precursors are degraded rapidly in the in vitro system. Two lines of evidence indicate that the conversion of U2 precursors to mature-size U2 RNA involves a 3′ processing reaction. First, the reaction is unaffected by a large excess of mature U2 small nuclear RNP, whose 5′ trimethylguanosine caps would be expected to compete for a 5′ processing activity. Second, when pre-U2 RNA precursors are first stoichiometrically decorated with an antibody specific for 2,2,7-trimethylguanosine, the extent of subsequent processing in vitro is unaffected. These results provide the first demonstration of a eukaryotic RNA processing reaction in vitro occurring within a ribonucleoprotein particle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-78
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume183
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology

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