Interactions of the yeast U6 RNA with the pre-mRNA branch site.RNA. 1996 Nov; 2(11):1110-23.RNA
The small nuclear RNA (snRNA) components of the spliceosome have been proposed to catalyze the excision of introns from nuclear pre-mRNAs. If this hypothesis is correct, then the snRNA components of the spliceosome may interact directly with the reactive groups of pre-mRNA substrates. To explore this possibility, a genetic screen has been used to identify potential interactions between the U6 RNA and the pre-mRNA branch site. Notably, the selection yielded mutants in two regions of the yeast U6 RNA implicated previously in the catalytic events of splicing. These mutants significantly increase the splicing of pre-mRNA substrates containing non-adenosine branch sites. U6 mutants in U2/U6 helix Ia show strong allele-specific interactions with the branch site nucleotide and interact with PRP16, a factor implicated previously in branch site utilization. The other mutants cluster in the intramolecular helix of U6 and suppress the effects of branch site mutations in a nonallele-specific fashion. The locations of these mutants may define positions important for binding of the U6 intramolecular helix to the catalytic core of the spliceosome.