The Xenopus U7 snRNA-encoding gene has an unusually compact structure (1992)

Author(s): N. J. Watkins;S. C. Phillips;P. C. Turner

  • : The Xenopus U7 snRNA-encoding gene has an unusually compact structure

Abstract: A subclone containing a single Xenopus borealis U7 snRNA-encoding gene has been microinjected into X. laevis oocyte nuclei to examine its expression using [32P]GTP as an in vivo label. Only two U7 snRNA bands were detected after incubation, and subsequent fractionation of the oocyte showed that only the larger transcript is present in the nucleus. The sequence of this functional U7 gene shows that, in addition to the coding region, it contains, in the appropriate locations, the 3'-box and proximal sequence element (PSE) which are typical of Pol II-transcribed snRNA genes. Surprisingly, the Xenopus U7 gene contains two adjacent octamer-binding motifs located only 12 and 24 bp upstream from the PSE, instead of the usual location around 150- 200 bp upstream. No other cis-acting elements appear to be present. A 5' deletion analysis shows that the transcription level of this U7 gene remains constant if sequences upstream of the two octamer motifs are removed, yet is undetectable when an additional 34 bp containing both octamers and the PSE are removed. This confirms that the Xenopus U7 gene is the most compact snRNA-encoding gene isolated to date. A comparison of U7 sequences shows there is a much greater conservation in the 5' half of the molecule, which contains sequences that base-pair with target pre-mRNA, than in the 3' half which can form a single stem- loop structure that varies in size.

  • Short Title: The Xenopus U7 snRNA-encoding gene has an unusually compact structure
  • Journal: Gene
  • Volume: 120
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 271-6.
  • Publication type: Article
  • Bibliographic status: Published

Keywords: Animal Base Sequence Female *Genes, Structural Guanosine Triphosphate/metabolism Human Mice Molecular Sequence Data Nucleic Acid Conformation Oocytes/physiology RNA, Small Nuclear/biosynthesis/*genetics Sea Urchins Sequence Deletion Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Transcription, Genetic Xenopus/*genetics Xenopus laevis


Dr Nick Watkins
Senior Lecturer