Base pairing between U3 small nucleolar RNA and the 5 ' end of 18S rRNA is required for pre-rRNA processing

K Sharma, D Tollervey

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The loop of a stem structure close to the 5' end of the 18S rRNA is complementary to the box A region of the U3 small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA). Substitution of the 188 loop nucleotides inhibited pre-rRNA cleavage at site A(1), the 5' end of the 188 rRNA, and at site A(2), located 1.9 kb away in internal transcribed spacer 1, This inhibition was largely suppressed by a compensatory mutation in U3, demonstrating functional base pairing, The U3-pre-rRNA base pairing is incompatible with the structure that forms in the mature 188 rRNA and may prevent premature folding of the pre-rRNA In the Escherichia coil pre-rRNA the homologous region of the 16S rRNA is also sequestered, in that case by base pairing to the 5' external transcribed spacer (5' ETS), Cleavage at site A(0) in the yeast 5' ETS strictly requires base pairing between U3 and a sequence within the 5' ETS, In contrast, the U3-18S interaction is not required for A(0) cleavage, U3 therefore carries out at least to two functionally distinct base pair interactions with the pre-rRNA. The nucleotide at the site of A(1) cleavage was shown to be specified by two distinct signals; one of these is the stem-loop structure within the 188 rRNA, However, in contrast to the efficiency of cleavage, the position of A(1) cleavage is not dependent on the U3-loop interaction. We conclude that the 18S stem-loop structure is recognized at least twice during pre rRNA processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6012-6019
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

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