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U6 snRNA is a catalytic RNA responsible for pre-mRNA splicing reactions and undergoes various post-transcriptional modifications during its maturation process. The 3'-oligouridylation of U6 snRNA by the terminal uridylyltransferase, TUT1, provides the Lsm-binding site in U6 snRNA for U4/U6 di-snRNP formation and this ensures pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we present the crystal structure of human TUT1 (hTUT1) complexed with U6 snRNA, representing the post-uridylation of U6 snRNA by hTUT1. The N-terminal ZF-RRM and catalytic palm clamp the single-stranded AUA motif between the 5'-short stem and the 3'-telestem of U6 snRNA, and the ZF-RRM specifically recognizes the AUA motif. The ZF and the fingers hold the telestem, and the 3'-end of U6 snRNA is placed in the catalytic pocket of the palm for oligouridylation. The oligouridylation of U6 snRNA depends on the internal four-adenosine tract in the 5'-part of the telestem of U6 snRNA, and hTUT1 adds uridines until the internal adenosine tract can form base-pairs with the 3'-oligouridine tract. Together, the recognition of the specific structure and sequence of U6 snRNA by the multi-domain TUT1 protein and the intrinsic sequence and structure of U6 snRNA ensure the oligouridylation of U6 snRNA. © 2023. Springer Nature Limited.


Seisuke Yamashita, Kozo Tomita. Mechanism of U6 snRNA oligouridylation by human TUT1. Nature communications. 2023 Aug 10;14(1):4686

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PMID: 37563152

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