High level of complexity of small nuclear RNAs in fungi and plants

David Tollervey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The complexity of the trimethylguanosine-capped, small nuclear RNA (snRNA) populations in a number of organisms has been examined using immunoprecipitation and two-dimensional gels. From the fungi Aspergillus nidulans and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, over 30 major snRNAs can be resolved. The most abundant of these correspond to the putative analogues of vertebrate Ul, U2, U4 and U5, which have been reported to be precipitated by anti-Sm antibodies, but other snRNAs are little less abundant than the major Sm-precipitable species. A similarly high level of complexity of snRNAs is detected in pea plants. In Candida albicans, the snRNAs are somewhat less numerous (about 22 major species) and are substantially less abundant than those of the above fungi, features shared with another budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ten species of human snRNA have been reported; on two-dimensional gels, a number of additional snRNAs can be resolved from human cells. Each fungus, as well as pea plants, contains snRNAs substantially larger than any reported from vertebrates or detected in the human RNA used here. It appears that many eukaryotes contain substantially more species of snRNA than was previously believed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-361
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 1987


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