Author(s): Behrens SE, Tyc K, Kastner B, Reichelt J, Luhrmann R
Abstract: Small nuclear (sn) ribonucleoprotein (RNP) U2 functions in the splicing of mRNA by recognizing the branch site of the unspliced pre-mRNA. When HeLa nuclear splicing extracts are centrifuged on glycerol gradients, U2 snRNPs sediment at either 12S (under high salt concentration conditions) or 17S (under low salt concentration conditions). We isolated the 17S U2 snRNPs from splicing extracts under nondenaturing conditions by using centrifugation and immunoaffinity chromatography and examined their structure by electron microscope. In addition to common proteins B', B, D1, D2, D3, E, F, and G and U2-specific proteins A' and B", which are present in the 12S U2 snRNP, at least nine previously unidentified proteins with apparent molecular masses of 35, 53, 60, 66, 92, 110, 120, 150, and 160 kDa bound to the 17S U2 snRNP. The latter proteins dissociate from the U2 snRNP at salt concentrations above 200 mM, yielding the 12S U2 snRNP particle. Under the electron microscope, the 17S U2 snRNPs exhibited a bipartite appearance, with two main globular domains connected by a short filamentous structure that is sensitive to RNase. These findings suggest that the additional globular domain, which is absent from 12S U2 snRNPs, contains some of the 17S U2-specific proteins. The 5' end of the RNA in the U2 snRNP is more exposed for reaction with RNase H and with chemical probes when the U2 snRNP is in the 17S form than when it is in the 12S form. Removal of the 5' end of this RNA reduces the snRNP's Svedberg value from 17S to 12S. Along with the peculiar morphology of the 17S snRNP, these data indicate that most of the 17S U2-specific proteins are bound to the 5' half of the U2 snRNA.
Notes: In Vitro Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United states
Keywords: Base Sequence Cell Fractionation/methods Cell Nucleus/chemistry Hela Cells Humans Hydrogen Bonding Microscopy, Electron Molecular Sequence Data Molecular Weight Nucleic Acid Conformation *RNA Splicing RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry Ribonuclease H, Calf Thymus/pharmacology Ribonucleoprotein, U2 Small Nuclear/*chemistry