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The PIN domain endonuclease Utp24 cleaves pre-ribosomal RNA at two coupled sites in yeast and humans

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Original languageEnglish
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2016


During ribosomal RNA (rRNA) maturation, cleavages at defined sites separate the mature rRNAs from spacer regions, but the identities of several enzymes required for 18S rRNA release remain unknown. PilT N-terminus (PIN) domain proteins are frequently endonucleases and the PIN domain protein Utp24 is essential for early cleavages at three pre-rRNA sites in yeast (A0, A1 and A2) and humans (A0, 1 and 2a). In yeast, A1 is cleaved prior to A2 and both cleavages require base-pairing by the U3 snoRNA to the central pseudoknot elements of the 18S rRNA. We found that yeast Utp24 UV-crosslinkedin vivoto U3 and the pseudoknot, placing Utp24 close to cleavage at site A1. Yeast and human Utp24 proteins exhibitedin vitroendonuclease activity on an RNA substrate containing yeast site A2. Moreover, an intact PIN domain in human UTP24 was required for accurate cleavages at sites 1 and 2ain vivo, whereas mutation of another potential site 2a endonuclease, RCL1, did not affect 18S production. We propose that Utp24 cleaves sites A1/1 and A2/2a in yeast and human cells.

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