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Splicing of precursor mRNA occurs via two consecutive steps of transesterification reaction; both require ATP and several proteins. Despite the energy requirement in the catalytic phase, incubation of the purified spliceosome under proper ionic conditions can elicit competitive reversible transesterification, debranching, and spliced-exon-reopening reactions without the necessity for ATP or other factors, suggesting that small changes in the conformational state of the spliceosome can lead to disparate chemical consequences for the substrate. We show here that Cwc25 plays a central role in modulating the conformational state of the catalytic spliceosome during normal splicing reactions. Cwc25 binds tightly to the spliceosome after the reaction and is then removed from the spliceosome, which normally requires DExD/H-box protein Prp16 and ATP hydrolysis, to allow the occurrence of the second reaction. When deprived of Cwc25, the purified first-step spliceosome catalyzes both forward and reverse splicing reactions under normal splicing conditions without requiring energy. Both reactions are inhibited when Cwc25 is added back, presumably due to the stabilization of first-step conformation. Prp16 is dispensable for the second reaction when splicing is carried out under conditions that destabilize Cwc25. We also show that the purified precatalytic spliceosome can catalyze two steps of the reaction at a low efficiency without requiring Cwc25, Slu7, or Prp18 when incubated under proper conditions. Our study reveals conformational modulation of the spliceosome by Cwc25 and Prp16 in stabilization and destabilization of first-step conformation, respectively, to facilitate the splicing process. © 2017 Tseng et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.


Chi-Kang Tseng, Che-Sheng Chung, Hsin-Chou Chen, Soo-Chen Cheng. A central role of Cwc25 in spliceosome dynamics during the catalytic phase of pre-mRNA splicing. RNA (New York, N.Y.). 2017 Apr;23(4):546-556

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PMID: 28057857

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