RNA Interactions in mRNA Splicing


Complex ribonucleoprotein machines called spliceosomes remove introns from nuclear messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) precursors by mRNA splicing. A dynamic network of RNA interactions in the spliceosome plays crucial roles in splice site recognition and provides a structural framework for the catalytic steps of mRNA splicing.

Keywords: splicing; mRNA; spliceosome; snRNA

Figure 1.

Cartoon showing the dynamic network of RNA interactions at three successive stages of formation and activation of a conventional (U2‐type) cis‐spliceosome (precatalytic, first‐step catalysis and second‐step catalysis, respectively). ‘*’ Indicates a non‐Watson–Crick interaction between the G residues at the 5′ and 3′ ends of the intron. See the text for detailed explanation. Modified with permission from Nilsen . Copyright © 1998 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.



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Further Reading

Brow DA (2002) Allosteric cascade of spliceosome activation. Annual Review of Genetics 36: 333–360.

Butcher SE and Brow DA (2005) Towards understanding the catalytic core structure of the spliceosome. Biochemical Society Transactions 33: 447–449.

Collins CA and Guthrie C (2000) The question remains: is the spliceosome a ribozyme? Nature Structural Biology 7: 850–854.

Nilsen TW (1998) RNA–RNA interactions in nuclear pre‐mRNA splicing. In: Simons R and Grunberg‐Manago M (eds) RNA Structure and Function. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Patel AA and Steitz JA (2003) Splicing double: insights from the second spliceosome. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 4: 960–970.

Will CL and Luhrmann R (2006) Spliceosome structure and function. In: Cech T and Atkins J (eds) The RNA World. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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Newman, Andrew J(Mar 2008) RNA Interactions in mRNA Splicing. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000881.pub2]