U3 snoRNA genes with and without intron in the Kluyveromyces genus: yeasts can accommodate great variations of the U3 snoRNA 3'-terminal domain.RNA. 1998 Mar; 4(3):285-302.RNA
The U3 snoRNA coding sequences from the genomic DNAs of Kluyveromyces delphensis and four variants of the Kluyveromyces marxianus species were cloned by PCR amplification. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the amplification products revealed a unique U3 snoRNA gene sequence in all the strains studied, except for K. marxianus var. fragilis. The K. marxianus U3 genes were intronless, whereas an intron similar to those of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae U3 genes was found in K. delphensis. Hence, U3 genes with and without intron are found in yeasts of the Saccharomycetoideae subfamily. The secondary structure of the K. delphensis pre-U3 snoRNA and of the K. marxianus mature snoRNAs were studied experimentally. They revealed a strong conservation in yeasts of (1) the architecture of U3 snoRNA introns, (2) the 5'-terminal domain of the mature snoRNA, and (3) the protein-anchoring regions of the U3 snoRNA 3' domain. In contrast, stem-loop structures 2, 3, and 4 of the 3' domain showed great variations in size, sequence, and structure. Using a genetic test, we show that, in spite of these variations, the Kluyveromyces U3 snoRNAs are functional in S. cerevisiae. We also show that S. cerevisiae U3A snoRNAs lacking the stem-loop structure 2 or 4 are functional. Hence, U3 snoRNA function can accommodate great variations of the RNA 3'-terminal domain.