Binding of human SLBP on the 3'-UTR of histone precursor H4-12 mRNA induces structural rearrangements that enable U7 snRNA anchoring
Jaeger, S.; Martin, F.; Rudinger-Thirion, J.ël.; Giegé, R.; Eriani, G.
Nucleic Acids Research 34(17): 4987-4995
ISSN/ISBN: 1362-4962 PMID: 16982637 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl666
In metazoans, cell-cycle-dependent histones are produced from poly(A)-lacking mRNAs. The 3' end of histone mRNAs is formed by an endonucleolytic cleavage of longer precursors between a conserved stem-loop structure and a purine-rich histone downstream element (HDE). The cleavage requires at least two trans-acting factors: the stem-loop binding protein (SLBP), which binds to the stem-loop and the U7 snRNP, which anchors to histone pre-mRNAs by annealing to the HDE. Using RNA structure-probing techniques, we determined the secondary structure of the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of mouse histone pre-mRNAs H4-12, H1t and H2a-614. Surprisingly, the HDE is embedded in hairpin structures and is therefore not easily accessible for U7 snRNP anchoring. Probing of the 3'-UTR in complex with SLBP revealed structural rearrangements leading to an overall opening of the structure especially at the level of the HDE. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated that the SLBP-induced opening of HDE actually facilitates U7 snRNA anchoring on the histone H4-12 pre-mRNAs 3' end. These results suggest that initial binding of the SLBP functions in making the HDE more accessible for U7 snRNA anchoring.