SMU-2 and SMU-1, Caenorhabditis elegans homologs of mammalian spliceosome-associated proteins RED and fSAP57, work together to affect splice site choice

Angela K. Spartz, Robert K. Herman, Jocelyn E. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans gene smu-2 suppress mec-8 and unc-52 mutations. It has been proposed that MEC-8 regulates the alternative splicing of unc-52 transcripts, which encode the core protein of perlecan, a basement membrane proteoglycan. We show that mutation in smu-2 leads to enhanced accumulation of transcripts that skip exon 17, but not exon 18, of unc-52, which explains our finding that smu-2 mutations suppress the uncoordination conferred by nonsense mutations in exon 17, but not in exon 18, of unc-52. We conclude that smu-2 encodes a ubiquitously expressed nuclear protein that is 40% identical to the human RED protein, a component of purified spliceosomes. The effects of smu-2 mutation on both unc-52 pre-mRNA splicing and the suppression of mec-8 and unc-52 mutant phenotypes are indistinguishable from the effects of mutation in smu-1, a gene that encodes a protein that is 62% identical to human spliceosome-associated protein fSAP57. We provide evidence that SMU-2 protects SMU-1 from degradation in vivo. In vitro and in vivo coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicate that SMU-2 and SMU-1 bind to each other. We propose that SMU-2 and SMU-1 function together to regulate splice site choice in the pre-mRNAs of unc-52 and other genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6811-6823
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume24
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2004

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