GJ Hannon, PA Maroney, YT Yu, GE Hannon, TW Nilsen
Nematode trans-spliced leader (SL) RNAs are composed of two domains, an exon [the 22-nucleotide spliced leader] and a small nuclear RNA (snRNA)-like sequence. Participation in vitro of the spliced leader RNA in trans-splicing reactions is independent of the exon sequence or size and instead depends on features contained in the snRNA-like domain of the molecule. Chemical modification interference analysis has revealed that two short sequence elements in the snRNA-like domain are necessary for SL RNA activity. These elements are sufficient for such activity because when added to a 72-nucleotide fragment of a nematode U1 snRNA, this hybrid RNA could participate in trans-splicing reactions in vitro. One of the critical sequence elements may function by base-pairing with U6 snRNA, an essential U snRNA for both cis- and trans-splicing.