A unique mechanism of snRNP core assembly

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A unique mechanism of snRNP core assembly

Authors

Wang, Y.; Chen, X.; Kong, X.; Chen, Y.; Xiang, Z.; Xiang, Y.; Hu, Y.; Hou, Y.; Zhou, S.; Shen, C.; Mu, L.; Su, D.; Zhang, R.

Abstract

The assembly of spliceosomal snRNP cores involves seven Sm proteins (D1/D2/F/E/G/D3/B) forming a ring around each snRNA and typically requires several essential assembly chaperones, particularly the SMN-Gemins complex implicated in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Strikingly, in budding yeast, snRNP core assembly only involves Brr1, a nonessential homolog of Gemin2. To unravel this enigma, we systematically investigated snRNP core assembly in budding yeast using biochemical and genetic approaches. We discovered two distinct pathways in budding yeast: chaperone-mediated and direct. The chaperone-mediated pathway involves two proteins, Brr1 and a novel protein, Lot5, but is inefficient. Lot5 binds D1/D2/F/E/G to form a heterohexameric ring (6S). Brr1 binds D1/D2/F/E/G and 6S but cannot displace Lot5 to facilitate assembly. Disruption of both BRR1 and LOT5 genes caused mild growth retardation, but LOT5 overexpression substantially impeded growth. The direct pathway uniquely involves F/E/G as a trimer and a stable D1/D2/F/E/G intermediate complex, explaining the non-essentiality of assembly chaperones. These findings unveil a unique assembly mechanism of snRNP cores, illuminate the evolution of assembly chaperones, and suggest avenues for studying SMA pathophysiology.

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