Section 22
Chapter 21,786

Specific contacts between mammalian U7 snRNA and histone precursor RNA are indispensable for the in vitro 3' RNA processing reaction

Cotten, M.; Gick, O.; Vasserot, A.; Schaffner, G.; Birnstiel, M.L.

EMBO Journal 7(3): 801-808


ISSN/ISBN: 0261-4189
PMID: 3396543
Accession: 021785367

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We have made a detailed molecular analysis of the reactions leading to the formation of mature 3' ends in mammalian histone mRNAs. Using two analytical protocols we have identified an essential sequence motif in the downstream spacer which is consistently present, albeit in diffuse form, mammalian histone genes. Tampering with this sequence element completely abolishes 3' processing. However, 3' cleavage in vitro, although at a very much reduced rate, can be detected when the conserved hairpin is deleted from histone precursor mRNAs. U7 snRNA, previously shown to be essential for the maturation of sea urchin histone messages, was isolated from murine cells and the sequence was determined. The approximately 63-nucleotide, trimethyl-G-capped, murine U7 snRNA possesses a sequence shown in the sea urchin U7 to be required for Sm-precipitability, and like the sea urchin U7, the 3' end of murine U7 is encased in a hairpin structure. The 5' sequence of murine U7 exhibits extensive sequence complementarity to the conserved downstream motif of the histone precursor. As expected, oligo-nucleotide-directed RNase H cleavage of this portion of murine U7 inhibits the in vitro processing reaction. These experiments identify a set of specific contacts between mammalian U7 and histone precursor RNA which is indispensable for the maturation reaction.

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