The ATP requirement for U2 snRNP addition is linked to the pre-mRNA region 5′ to the branch site

Catherine M. Newnham, Charles C. Query

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Association of U2 snRNP with the pre-mRNA branch region is the first ATP-dependent step in spliceosome assembly. The basis of this energy dependence is not known. Previously, we identified minimal intron-derived substrates that form complexes with U2 independent of ATP. Here, we identify the intron region linked to the ATP dependence of this step by comparing these substrates to longer RNAs that recapitulate the ATP requirement. This region needed to impose ATP dependence lies immediately 5′ to the branch site. Sequences ranging from 6 to 14 nt yield a near linear inhibitory effect on efficiency of complex formation with U2 snRNP, with 18 nt yielding near maximal ATP dependence. This region is not protected prior to U2 addition, and RNase H targeting of the region within nuclear extract converts an ATP-dependent substrate into an ATP-independent one. Within this region, there is no sequence specificity linked with the ATP requirement, as neither a specific sequence is needed, nor even nucleobases. These data and the results of other modifications suggest models in which the 18-nt region is a target for interactions with U2 snRNP in an ATP-bound or -activated conformation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1298-1309
Number of pages12
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2001


  • ATP
  • Anchoring site
  • Intron
  • Pre-mRNA
  • Spliceosome
  • U2 snRNP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology

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