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      The SMN complex: an assembly machine for RNPs.

      Cold Spring Harbor symposia on quantitative biology

      Base Sequence, Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein, chemistry, metabolism, HeLa Cells, Humans, Models, Biological, Molecular Sequence Data, Multiprotein Complexes, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Nucleic Acid Conformation, RNA, Small Nuclear, biosynthesis, genetics, RNA-Binding Proteins, Ribonucleoproteins, Ribonucleoproteins, Small Nuclear, SMN Complex Proteins, Spliceosomes

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          Abstract

          In eukaryotic cells, the biogenesis of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and likely other RNPs is mediated by an assemblyosome, the survival of motor neurons (SMN) complex. The SMN complex, composed of SMN and the Gemins (2-7), binds to the Sm proteins and to snRNAs and constructs the heptameric rings, the common cores of Sm proteins, on the Sm site (AU(56)G) of the snRNAs. We have determined the specific sequence and structural features of snRNAs for binding to the SMN complex and Sm core assembly. The minimal SMN complex-binding domain in snRNAs (except U1) is composed of an Sm site and a closely adjacent 3'stem-loop. Remarkably, the specific sequence of the stemloop is not important for SMN complex binding, but it must be located within a short distance of the 3'end of the RNA for an Sm core to assemble. This minimal snRNA-defining "snRNP code" is recognized by the SMN complex, which binds to it directly and with high affinity and assembles the Sm core. The recognition of the snRNAs is provided by Gemin5, a component of the SMN complex that directly binds the snRNP code. Gemin5 is a novel RNA-binding protein that is critical for snRNP biogenesis. Thus, the SMN complex is the identifier, as well as assembler, of the abundant class of snRNAs in cells. The function of the SMN complex, previously unanticipated because RNP biogenesis was believed to occur by self-assembly, confers stringent specificity on otherwise potentially illicit RNA-protein interactions.

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          Most cited references 44

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          The survival motor neuron protein in spinal muscular atrophy.

          The 38 kDa survival motor neuron (SMN) protein is encoded by two ubiquitously expressed genes: telomeric SMN (SMN(T)) and centromeric SMN (SMN(C)). Mutations in SMN(T), but not SMN(C), cause proximal spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an autosomal recessive disorder that results in loss of motor neurons. SMN is found in the cytoplasm and nucleus. The nuclear form is located in structures termed gems. Using a panel of anti-SMN antibodies, we demonstrate that the SMN protein is expressed from both the SMN(T) and SMN(C) genes. Western blot analysis of fibroblasts from SMA patients with various clinical severities of SMA showed a moderate reduction in the amount of SMN protein, particularly in type I (most severe) patients. Immunocytochemical analysis of SMA patient fibroblasts indicates a significant reduction in the number of gems in type I SMA patients and a correlation of the number of gems with clinical severity. This correlation to phenotype using primary fibroblasts may serve as a useful diagnostic tool in an easily accessible tissue. SMN is expressed at high levels in brain, kidney and liver, moderate levels in skeletal and cardiac muscle, and low levels in fibroblasts and lymphocytes. In SMA patients, the SMN level was moderately reduced in muscle and lymphoblasts. In contrast, SMN was expressed at high levels in spinal cord from normals and non-SMA disease controls, but was reduced 100-fold in spinal cord from type I patients. The marked reduction of SMN in type I SMA spinal cords is consistent with the features of this motor neuron disease. We suggest that disruption of SMN(T) in type I patients results in loss of SMN from motor neurons, resulting in the degeneration of these neurons.
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            Spliceosomal UsnRNP biogenesis, structure and function.

            Significant advances have been made in elucidating the biogenesis pathway and three-dimensional structure of the UsnRNPs, the building blocks of the spliceosome. U2 and U4/U6*U5 tri-snRNPs functionally associate with the pre-mRNA at an earlier stage of spliceosome assembly than previously thought, and additional evidence supporting UsnRNA-mediated catalysis of pre-mRNA splicing has been presented.
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              The spliceosome: the most complex macromolecular machine in the cell?

               Dennis Nilsen (2003)
              The primary transcripts, pre-mRNAs, of almost all protein-coding genes in higher eukaryotes contain multiple non-coding intervening sequences, introns, which must be precisely removed to yield translatable mRNAs. The process of intron excision, splicing, takes place in a massive ribonucleoprotein complex known as the spliceosome. Extensive studies, both genetic and biochemical, in a variety of systems have revealed that essential components of the spliceosome include five small RNAs-U1, U2, U4, U5 and U6, each of which functions as a RNA, protein complex called an snRNP (small nuclear ribonucleoprotein). In addition to snRNPs, splicing requires many non-snRNP protein factors, the exact nature and number of which has been unclear. Technical advances, including new affinity purification methods and improved mass spectrometry techniques, coupled with the completion of many genome sequences, have now permitted a number of proteomic analyses of purified spliceosomes. These studies, recently reviewed by Jurica and Moore,1 reveal that the spliceosome is composed of as many as 300 distinct proteins and five RNAs, making it among the most complex macromolecular machines known. Copyright 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                17381311
                10.1101/sqb.2006.71.001

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