Molecular comparison of monocot and dicot U1 and U2 snRNAs

Michael A. Musci, Daniel B. Egeland, Mary A. Schuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To elucidate differences between the pre‐mRNA splicing components in monocots and dicots, we have cloned and characterized several U1 and U2 snRNA sequence variants expressed in wheat seedling nuclei. Primer extension sequencing on wheat and pea snRNA populations has demonstrated that two 5′‐ terminal nucleotides found in most other U1 snRNAs are missing/modified in many plant U1 snRNAs. Comparison of the wheat U1 and U2 snRNA variants with their counterparts expressed in pea nuclei has defined regions of structural divergence between monocot and dicot U1 and U2 snRNAs. The U1 and U2 snRNA sequences involved in RNA:RNA interaction with pre‐mRNAs are absolutely conserved. Significant differences occur between wheat and pea U1 snRNAs in stem I and II structures implicated in the binding of U1‐specific proteins suggesting that the monocot and dicot U1‐specific snRNP proteins differ in their binding specificities. Stem III structures, which are required in mammalian systems for splicing complex formation but not for U1‐specific protein binding, differ more extensively than stems I, II, or IV. In U2 snRNAs, the sequence differences between these two species are primarily localized in stem III and in stem IV which has been implicated in snRNP protein binding. These differences suggest that monocot and dicot U1 and U2 snRNPs represent distinct entities that may have monocot‐ and dicot‐specific snRNP protein variants associated with each snRNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-599
Number of pages11
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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