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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intron mutations affect splicing of Saccharomyces cerevisiae SUP53 precursor tRNA.

The Saccharomyces cerevisiae amber suppressor tRNA gene SUP53 (a tRNALeu3 allele) was used to investigate the role of intron structure and sequence on precursor tRNA splicing in vivo and in vitro. This gene encodes a pre-tRNA which contains a 32-base intervening sequence. Two types of SUP53 intron mutants were constructed: ones with an internal deletion of the natural SUP53 intron and ones with a novel intron. These mutant genes were transcribed in vitro, and the end-processed transcripts were analyzed for their ability to serve as substrates for the partially purified S. cerevisiae tRNA endonuclease and ligase. The in vitro phenotype of these mutant RNAs was correlated with the in vivo suppressor tRNA function of these SUP53 alleles after integration of the genes into the yeast genome. Analysis of these mutant pre-tRNAs, which exhibited no perturbation of the mature domain, clearly showed that intron structure and sequence can have profound effects on pre-tRNA splicing. All of the mutant RNAs, which were inefficiently spliced or unspliced, evidenced cleavage only at the 5' splice junction. Base changes in the intron proximal to the 3' splice junction could partially rescue the splicing defect. The implications of these data for tRNA endonuclease-substrate interactions are discussed.[1]


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